Filed: Friday, 3rd July 2009
By: Fionn Kiely
Following the signing of Luis Jimenez, our first major arrival of the summer I thought I could provide a little detail of his background. In this regard the idea is to give a bit of information pertaining to the player's domestic and international career to date, their personal life and just a general overview of them as a player and as a person.
So, beginning with our most recent arrival; ‘the Magician’, aka Luis Antonio Jiménez.
Attacking midfielder. In theory he plays behind the front tow in a ‘free role’ as such. Is also known to have played on either wing and up front at times. One can imagine him playing behind the lone front man in Zola’s preferred formation.
Born in the capital of Chile, Santiago on June 17 1984 into a poor lower class family, Luis found solace (like so many before him…) in football and his talents were noticed at a young age. Quickly signed up to various local clubs, he joined Club Deportivo Palestino in Santiago (former club of the ‘famous’ Clarence Acuña…) and thus began his football apprenticeship.
Spotted by visiting Italian scouts Jiménez quickly found an escape route out of his native Chile and like many South Americans found the route to European football through the lax immigration policy of Italy. He began his Serie A career with Ternana at the age of 18 and quickly began to make an impact in Serie B, making nearly 100 appearances for the club with a scoring record of almost 1 in 3.
Shortly thereafter the big boys of Italian football began to take notice of this young player making waves in the second division and quite quickly a loan deal was announced with Fiorentina. This deal was atypical of many deals in Serie A where Jiménez was jointly owned by two clubs, Ternana and Fiorentina. Luis enjoyed a relatively successful start to his Serie A career playing 19 times and scoring 3 goals.
The next season, with Ternana being relegated to our equivalent of League 2, it seemed Jiménez wouldn’t be staying with the club for much longer even though Ternana had purchased Fiorentina’s half back off the Florence club.
Lazio came into the picture shortly thereafter and a loan deal was struck. This was a major episode in Jiménez’s career as it was an issue of great controversy in the Italian league. Essentially what happened was that Ternana had originally agreed to let Jiménez go on loan for the season to Lazio, with a view to a permanent deal. Much like West Ham’s favoured transfer policy at the moment. Ternana quickly began to change the terms of the deal however and began to make extortionate demands. Lazio didn’t agree to these and the case went to FIFA. The issue was solved when the two clubs finally agreed to a loan deal with a figure of €11 million to come at the end of his first season.
However, things were not as easy as that. Even though Jiménez enjoyed a relatively successful six months in Rome, playing nearly every game (with Behrami in the same team), Lazio began to have second thoughts and Inter Milan quickly stood in and snapped Luis up in another loan-to-buy deal. Jiménez arrived in Milan at the same time as Luis Figo and others and he quickly began to make an impact. He scored his first Inter goal in the Champions League against Fenerbache, a lovely goal coming in extra time, and was rewarded with his first Inter start on the 2nd of December against Fiorentina, where he scored the opening goal, and then went on to start the subsequent match against Lazio where he grabbed an assist, had a goal disallowed and set up another disallowed goal.
At the end of the 2008 season, Inter officially signed him in another co-ownership deal. Injuries hampered his progress under the ‘Special One’ and Luis found opportunities scarce under Mourinho, only managing a handful of appearances. After strong links to Athletico Madrid, his future looked to lay away from the San Siro. Due to the close relationship between West Ham’s number two Steve Clarke and his former boss, West Ham managed to secure the services of Jiménez for the coming season on 23 June 2009. The deal is loan one with a view to a permanent deal at the end of the season. However, as with all things West Ham, his ownership is still a matter of controversy with both Inter Milan and Ternana still retaining their halves.
He made his international debut on April 28, 2004, in a match against Peru. Jiménez became captain of Chile during 2006 and also won the 2005-06 Chile Player of the Year award. Having gained 20 caps for his country recently Jiménez has found himself in International exile while Chile are under the stewardship of Marcelo Bielsa.
Personal: Luiz married Chilean model María José López in 2006. She is the type of woman who’d cause you problems, as we’ll see in the next section. Here’s a link or two to make up your mind….
Ah the infamous bar fight…. a brawl that occurred in a Santiago nightclub between two Jiménez and Mauricio Pinilla, his international team mate.
The feud between Jiménez and Pinilla goes back to over a year ago when the tabloid press in Chile alleged that Pinilla had spent the night with Jiménez’s wife Maria whilst the Inter midfielder was in Jamaica on international duty.
Whilst both were on their winter holidays back from Italy and Brazil respectively, they found themselves in a night club in Santiago and Jimenez took out his anger on Pinilla. According to a number of reports, Jiménez attacked Pinilla with a blunt instrument, causing three blows to the head and the victim of the attack was forced to go to hospital for treatment and was diagnosed with head trauma and a neck injury.
According to the local media, Mauricio Pinilla had approached the couple at the nightclub and was warned to back off. Failing to heed the warnings, a fight broke out with Pinilla getting thumped by Jimenez. When Pinilla exited the club the paparazzi were waiting outside. They chased down Pinilla’s car barking “is it true you got hit?” After finally get the footballer to acknowledge them, Pinilla responded by simply pointing to his cheek before making the “crazy” sign, turning his finger on his temple.
Jiménez once released a calendar of himself to much scorn and hilarity. Here’s a link to some of the photos. This will no doubt endear him to many of our fans….
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
06:49PM 7th Jul 2009
I assume by the pictures I just saw via the link... not that it matters... that Mr Jimenez bats for the other side!? As long as he knows what to do with a Football it's fine with me!''
by Sir Robert Of Orangeboom
08:47AM 4th Jul 2009
''Nice article Fiona, thanks.''
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