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Jose Gimenez takes Europe by storm

Jose Gimenez takes Europe by storm

Posted by Juan Gavasa on December 12, 2014

Atletico Madrid’s Uruguayan defender Jose Gimenez probably never thought he was going to be stealing so many headlines this season. The 19 year old signed for the Colchoneros last summer after a great Under 20 World Cup with his National Team, but Cholo Simeone’s reticence to break his unstoppable centerback duo, formed by Godin and Miranda, gave Gimenez very little chances to shine.

When this year started the same way, the youngster made it clear he was ready to find another place to call home, in hopes of getting the needed playing time to grow and develop. But then everything changed.

With Juan Miranda’s injury, Simeone had no doubt Gimenez was up to the challenge and the Uruguayan hasn’t let his coach down.

Gimenez has established himself as one of those rare defenders that, even at a young age, show so much promise and calmness in their style that it seems they have been playing professionally for many years.

His case is reminiscent of other defensive prodigies that have shined in La Liga in their teens, like Sergio Ramos or Carles Puyol, and even Raphael Varane in recent years, and who have gone on to become accomplished stars.

Since Miranda’s muscular issues arose, Gimenez has played a total of 5 games, with his last one in La Liga against Elche being also the one he will remember the most, as he scored his first professional goal to finalize a wonderful set play by Atletico Madrid.

But if Gimenez has made the news it is mainly because of his performance against Juventus in the Champions League.

The Young buck played a superb match, and was not faced at all by the fact he was lining up against players of the caliber of Carlos Tevez or Fernando Llorente.

Not only did Gimenez managed to help his team score a –yet another, rather– clean sheet, but he did so with a masterful display of skills, speed and bluntness. He also did not commit a single foul.

Blessed with the physical frame of a rugby player rather than one of a footballer, Jose Gimenez is already excelling at managing and controlling his own strength, something that has gotten the best of some very qualified defenders at his age.

But it is his calm under pressure that is really keeping all critics in awe, and the top quality why half of Europe is now asking about the kid.

The negative aspect of his situation is the fact he is competing against, arguably, two of the best defenders in Europe. It will be complicated, to not say impossible, to break into the rotation if his countryman Godin and Brazilian Miranda keep performing at the level they have so far.

Should Gimenez have landed in a different team last summer, say FC Barcelona or Arsenal, there are no doubts he would be leading their defenses as a starter by now, but at Cholo’s Atletico seniority is important, and even more so if the oldies are still goodies.

So Gimenez will have to make do with the minutes Simeone decides are best for him, and see these next few years as his ramp up seasons. At 19, he should not be in a rush to take over the world, and there’s no better place to learn the art of defending than with Simeone, Godin and Miranda.

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