There is a gloom fate of Mexicans in recent times when it comes in terms of playing in Europe, most of them are amazing talents but they somehow struggle in the European leagues and then make their way back to Mexico.
But some players are exception of that, like Hugo Sanchez, Rafael Marquez, Carlos Vela, Andres Guardado and last but not the least, Javier ‘El Chicharito’ Hernandez. The little Mexican has established himself well now in Europe after a roller coaster ride. It looked damp and dark a few seasons ago, but now the 2nd all time most goal scorer of Mexico has found a new life in Bundesliga. Today we shall a take a look at all of him, from the beginning to the dream move in England and the consequences.
It all began for Javier in the famous club of Mexico, Chivas de Guadalajara. He made his debut in the 2006 Apertura season and never looked back. But his sublime display started in the 2009-10 season, during this time he established himself as a proven goal scorer in the Mexican league and ended the season as joint 3rd top goalscorer.
The dream move to Manchester United:
Manchester United were aware of the talent and Sir Alex got the young Mexican and he was the first Mexican to play for them. He scored on his debut for united in a win over Chelsea in the Community Shield. That was a dream start for him and he blossomed in every matches he played that season. He ended up the season by scoring 20 goals and that was impressive. Beside this he was a regular for Mexico and scored frequent goals for his country. In 2011, Chicharito helped Mexico to win the Concacaf Gold Cup by beating USA in the final.
The following seasons were also decent, he scored 12 and 18 goals respectively in the next two seasons. Despite the fact that the arrival of Van Persie meant his chances were limited, Javier utilized the opportunities he got and was brilliant.
The Testing Times:
Sir Alex Ferguson retired from managing and that was a pivotal point of his career. Under David Moyes, he didn’t get as much chances he expected. Also the form dipped and he only managed 9 goals in the 2013-14 season. United as a team also were poor and finished the season on 7th position. In 2014-15 season, Louis Van Gaal came as the new manager, but Chicharito still was down the pecking order. So he made a loan move to Real Madrid, a bit surprisingly to some pundits. He scored a brace to open his account against Deportivo la Coruna. During the course, he was mainly a third choice striker and made mostly substitute appearances. He finished his spell in Madrid scoring 9 goals, one of which included a famous goal against Atletico de Madrid in the quarter finals of the Champions League.
As the 2015-16 season was about to start, it was quite vivid that Chicharito was not the main man at the Old Trafford anymore. Maybe moving on was the best decision and a number of clubs were interested to get his signature. He again won the Gold Cup with Mexico and for his country he was still the undisputed first choice. Some papers of Mexico also claimed that he may return to Mexico or try his luck in the MLS. It would have been a step backward for sure and Chicharito wasn’t ready to do that. Instead he made the right decision and signed for German outfit Bayer Leverkusen on 31st August, 2015.
The Revolution of Chicharito:
It proved to be perfect for him. Chicharito started well in Germany and scored goals. The old Hernandez was back. The touch, swiftness of his play, the immense goal poaching ability was restored following the move. He regained his confidence and reinvented himself as a top player yet again. There was a period when he scored 15 goals in 12 matches and was named the Bundesliga Player of the Month thrice in the season. He was named the best player in the league 3 consecutive months, November 2015 to January 2016. Chicharito finished his debut season in Germany with 21 goals. He was out with an injury at the start of this season but has become more lethal since his comeback. He has scored 5 goals in 6 appearances this season which included a hat-trick against Mainz.
For Mexico he has been brilliant as well, scored 6 goals in 16 appearances since 2015. At the moment he is on 45 goals with Mexico, just 1 less than all time top goalscorer Jared Borgetti. It is just a matter of time that Javier will be the all time top scorer of Mexico in international football.
The journey that started in Guadalajara is back on track in Germany right now. The rejuvenated Chicharito has found his feet and moving in the right direction. His overall gameplay, the speed, agility and that fantastic aerial domination, all seem to be spot on at the very moment and the future looks bright. There was a time when the future looked gloomy, but the Little Pea has overcome all the hurdles and can only look for more glory from here. A new chapter has begun for him and we wish him all the very best for his career.
Photo by Francisco Carbajal