Claudio Reyna with the 10 of the United States team.  He played four World Cups.
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Giovanni Reina is one of the figures that presents USA on his campus for the Qatar World Cup 2022. The striker, who just turned 20, chose to follow the path of his father and, in this way, represent the North American team. But along the way he had to make a couple of drastic decisions, including turning down the invitation of the Argentine National Team to be a partner of Lionel Messia possibility offered by the family tree.

Gio is the son of Claudio Reynaa player born in New Jersey to an Argentine father. Miguel Reyna immigrated to the United States in 1968, after having gone through the lower divisions of Independiente and having made his professional debut in Los Andesthe historic Ascent club of the city of Lomas de Zamora.

When Claudio Reyna debuted in soccer, there was no globalization of these times. He first made his way through college and, after being part of the United States team that played in the 1994 World Cup, he emigrated to Germany to play for Bayer Leverkusen. There he started a professional course that allowed him to reach Glasgow Rangers and Manchester Cityamong other institutions. He played 272 games and scored 27 club goals.

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Y In the national team he played 112 games and scored eight goalsbut above all it has the mark of having played four World Cups, between 1994 and 2006. Hence, the sense of belonging of his son Giovanni can also be understood when he found himself faced with the possibility of playing in four different teams: Argentina, Portugal, England and, of course, the United States.

The story of Gio Reyna

Gio Reyna was the second child that Claudio had with the also former American soccer player Danielle Eganwhom he met in 1997 in Hong Kong. The eldest of his children, Jack, died on July 20, 2012 when he was just 13 years old, after a long fight against a brain tumor.. The youngest was 11 years old at the time and at that time his father was technical director of the United States Youth Programs.

Gio was born in Sunderland, England. -his father played in the club of that city-, and for that reason in this World Cup could have been a partner of Harry Kane or Phil Foden. The paternal grandmother, Miguel Reyna’s wife, was of Portuguese origin, so He could also have shared a team with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Claudio Reyna with the 10 of the United States team. He played four World Cups.

the AFAin addition to the English and Portuguese federations, he wanted to convince the boy to join his team. They were motivated by what was exhibited by Gio Reyna in his first steps as a professional at Borussia Dortmund, when he burst in along with the Englishman Jadon Sancho and He was a teammate of the Norwegian Erling Haalandwho had just arrived from Salzburg.

Reyna had arrived at the Bundesliga club as a free player, since his father used parental authority and took him out of the New York City FC Academy for free. At just 19 years old, in 2019, Lucien Favre made him debut in the Champions League. Already at that time, they asked him about Argentina, given that Lionel Scaloni’s coaching staff had contacted him. “I don’t know anything about that right now. No comment, I have nothing to say about it now. I am focused on the United States,” she said at the time.

For Argentina, it was presented as an opportunity to add young talent trained in Europe. It is a similar case to Alexander Garnachothe boy born in Spain but to an Argentine mother who had a stellar appearance at Manchester United, who has already played for the Under 20 team led by Javier Mascherano who they hope will end up opting for Argentina.

Gio Reyna celebrates a goal with the Borussia Dortmund shirt.  REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler
Gio Reyna celebrates a goal with the Borussia Dortmund shirt. REUTERS/Leon KuegelerBy: REUTERS

Reyna declined any invitation to follow in her father’s footsteps. She thus exposed it in the preview of the World Cup in Qatar, when she whitewashed the offers that had come to her. “Yes, there were options to go to other teams, but from the beginning it was always clear to me that I wanted to play in the United States. He is a compliment that they look for you from other teams. And yes, they were interested and they have contacted me but for me the only option was always the United States ”, he assured.

Debuted with the US team on November 12, 2020 in a friendly match against Wales. And in 2021 he already won his first title, as a member of the team that won the Concacaf Nations League: in the final, played on June 7 in Denver, the United States defeated Mexico. After the coronation, he uploaded a series of photos to Instagram of himself captioned “proud to be an American.”

Gio Reyna's post when the United States won the Concacaf Nations League.
Gio Reyna’s post when the United States won the Concacaf Nations League.

The answer he gave when asked about the origins of his grandfather Miguel, who ultimately made both his father and him soccer players, was not very profound, as a matter of family legacy. “Yes, I think he played in Independiente. I am not sure, but I think he did not play many games in the first team, but I know that he was passionate about the sport, ”he indicated lightly.

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Reyna is going through her fourth season at Borussia Dortmund, a club in which he has nearly a hundred games (he has 93) and scored 12 goals. The focus of it is now on the attack duo that makes up Christian Pulisic, the talented Chelsea striker at just 24 years old, who also seems to have Argentine DNA from the way he plays. The difference with his partner is that Gio does have argentinity in his blood.

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