In team sports, it’s usually the case that the player who scores often and at crucial moments is considered a national hero. So when trying to figure out who could become Mexico’s star at the 2018 World Cup, only one name comes to mind: Javier Hernandez Balcazar aka Chicharito.
Chicharito is just 29 years of age, but already has 100 caps and scored 49 goals for El Tri, which makes him Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer. This achievement is even more astonishing when remembering that the Aztec nation produced many legendary strikers such as Hugo Sanchez and Jared Borgetti.
Señor Hernandez was born in Guadalajara in 1988. Both his father and grandfather played for the national team, so Javier inherited their passion and talent for soccer. The nickname “Chicharito” was originally given to his father and then passed down to his son.
Javier’s career as a professional player began at Chivas de Guadalajara, where he quickly became a fan favorite. In 2010, the youngster joined Manchester United after he impressed the great Sir Alex Ferguson with his style and efficacy. He played four years for the Red Devils and then spent one year on loan at Real Madrid. Subsequently, the Bundesliga team Bayer Leverkusen offered Chicharito a two-year contract, but in 2017 he came back to England, where he signed with West Ham United. During the 2017-18 Premier League season, he scored seven goals in 24 appearances.
For Señor Hernandez, the World Cup in Russia is bound to become a defining moment of his life.