No Room For Racism

Jimenez: Family support helped me become great

19 Oct 2023
Raul Jimenez, Fulham

Fulham striker says solid upbringing was key to his journey from streets of Mexico to the Premier League

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Playing football as a young boy on the streets of Tepeji del Rio de Ocampo, Mexico, helped shape Raul Jimenez's development as a player and person.

Fulham forward Jimenez is one of 64 different nationalities currently represented in the Premier League, which is celebrating its diversity through the theme of "Greatness comes from everywhere" as part of the No Room For Racism initiative.

"I lived for a spell in the place I was born, in Tepeji del Rio," says former Wolverhampton Wanderers star Jimenez of his childhood.

"There wasn't really a pitch, just the street outside my house where all my neighbours would get together. That's where we played.

"We used stones for goalposts. We only stopped when cars passed by!"

While Jimenez was busy honing his football skills, he says that it was the love and support of his family that provided the basis from which he was able to go on build a successful playing career.

Raul Jimenez, Wolves

"It [ greatness] comes from the upbringing my parents gave me," says Jimenez. "From this moment, from being so well brought up, I was able to become great."

Jimenez's strong family ties also helped see him through his darkest days after fracturing his skull in an accidental clash of heads with Arsenal's David Luiz in November 2020, a life-threatening injury that required emergency surgery.

"You could definitely say it was the hardest thing I had to face," adds Jimenez, who made a full recovery and returned to Premier League action nine months later.

"There were other things not as serious as this. I think this episode in my career was my hardest and biggest challenge.

"Despite this, I was able to move on with the support of my family, wife and kids. They were always by my side - their support was relentless."

Also in this series

Part 1: How the Premier League is fighting racism
Part 2: How Sarr's family prepared him for success
Part 3: West Ham achieve Premier League equality standard
Part 4: How clubs and players supported No Room For Racism campaign
Part 5: Ogbene: It's important to teach younger generation about diversity
Part 6: Danjuma: My greatness comes from going through hardship
Part 7: How Wolves are educating young people about inclusion
Part 8: 'It's everyone's responsibility to do something about discrimination'
Part 9: Caicedo: Learning through diversity helped me reach the top
Part 10: Darren Bent on the men and women who've inspired him
Part 11: Benjamin Zephaniah on the Premier League and the legacy of Windrush
Part 12: Desailly: I looked far for my black sporting heroes
Part 14: Pittman: Sharing my knowledge will help the next generation
Part 15: Szoboszlai: My father helped me achieve the impossible
Part 16: Amadou Onana on the people who've inspired him
Part 17: Why family support is so important for Mbeumo and Wissa
Part 18: Gomez: Positive black role models are so important

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