Benfica striker Raul Jimenez has been given permission to represent the Mexico soccer team at the 2016 Copa America Centenario and 2016 Summer Olympics.
After struggling for playing time in the first part of the season, the 24-year-old has shown plenty of improvement of late, scoring three goals in last four appearances.
Jimenez admits he is delighted to be playing regular football and he admits that Benfica officials have allowed him to take part at both Copa America and Summer Games next summer in case he is called by the Mexico coaches.
“I know how difficult it is for a European club to release a player for the Olympic Games,” Jimenez told Radio MVS. “More than for any other competition, because Copa America is almost mandatory.
“I talked to people from Benfica, told them there was a possibility of being called to one or both tournaments and that I wanted to go.
”They said yes, they support me completely. They told me they always wanted to make the players happy, they want me to play since I did not have many minutes (this season).”
Raul Jimenez made five substitute appearances for El Tri at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and everything suggests he will play an important role for Mexico at the 2016 tournament in Rio de Janeiro (3-20 August), where his side will face Germany, South Korea and Fiji in Group C.
Meanwhile, El Tri will play Jamaica, Uruguay and Venezuela in Group C at the 2016 Copa America Centenario (3-26 June).