Following his game-winning brace, the Spurs player talked about his role coming off the bench for El Tri in the tournament.COVENTRY, England -- Giovani dos Santos scored twice to down Gabon, but also to send a clear message to Mexican coach Luis Fernando Tena: I don't want to be a sub.
"I'm [physically fit for] 90 minutes, I don't think the manager brought me here to play 15 or 20," said Giovani after the team's 2-0 win over Gabon. "I think any player wants to start and be important, I had to come off the bench but I had my chance and I took advantage of it," he continued.
Giovani disparaged any rumors that he was not ready for the tournament by reminding the assembled press that he has been training hard to play in London 2012.
"That's why I'm here, I've talked about being 100 percent and I've worked sometimes two sessions a day to be here," he said. "Today I showed I'm at a good level, but it's the manager's decision [for me to start or not]".
Dos Santos scored on a combo play with involved Santos Laguna striker Oribe Peralta and later took a penalty kick to collect his first goals ever in an Olympic tournament. Afterwards, he praised the end result.
"I'm happy for my performance, personally, and collectively as well. The most important thing is that we have the victory." A clear Mexican majority reigned in the stands, with the Tottenham player well aware of the support.
"Truly, the fans have been great and I'm really happy they're here to cheer us on. Every time I come [to the national team] I always give my best because the fans have always been fabulous."
His teammates agree with the notion of Giovani getting the starting nod.
Mexico's veteran central midfielder Carlos Salcido praised Giovani's qualities and deemed it unfortunate that he has not been a starter so far in the tournament.
"Every player has his virtues, he has a lot of strength and is technically great, unfortunately he has to come off the bench right now but he gives us a great impulse."
Finally, holding midfielder Jorge Enriquez also talked about the role Dos Santos has had coming off the bench.
"He revolutionizes the game's rhythm and when he comes in we've seen a change in the team these past two games," said the Chivas player.
Clearly, Mexico's best moments in the tournament have come with Dos Santos on the pitch. The lingering question is, will they come for Mexico from the very first minute against Switzerland?
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Mike Slane provided additional reporting to this story from Coventry.