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Where Javier Hernandez Ranks Alongside Mexico's 10 Best Strikers

Karla Villegas GamaFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2014

Where Javier Hernandez Ranks Alongside Mexico's 10 Best Strikers

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Javier Hernandez may have had a short professional career, but he surely is among the best strikers Mexico has ever had.

    His commitment and performance in an eight-year span have put him under the spotlight and he has delivered great results, such as becoming the top Mexican scorer in the Premier League’s history.

    Now it’s time to pair Chicharito with the creme de la creme of his own nation.

10. Ricardo Pelaez

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    A first-class header of a ball, Ricardo Pelaez scored twice in the 1998 World Cup against South Korea and the Netherlands.

    From the golden class of the '90s, he was always in the right place at the right time. His speed helped him leave defenders behind at set pieces.

    His club career includes some of the most respected squads in Mexican football: America, Necaxa and Guadalajara.

    He scored 170 goals from 1985 to 2000, when he retired from professional football. He currently serves as El Tri’s sporting director.

9. Francisco Palencia

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    RICARDO MAZALAN/Associated Press

    "El Gatillero" played professionally for 17 years in which he scored 148 goals, 12 of those with Mexico.

    He came to stardom with Cruz Azul, where he spent most of his club career (1994-2003) and won one league title (1997). He ultimately left for Spain to wear Espanyol's jersey but went back to his country a year later.

    Palencia was a powerful striker who could lead the attack or come from behind to finish a play. His physical condition helped him whenever he had to fight for a ball.

8. Enrique Borja

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    Anonymous/Associated Press

    One of the most iconic players in Club America’s history, Borja was very slippery inside the box and that was his most valuable asset.

    His technique was not the best, but he always delivered; not for nothing did he score more than 200 goals in his career.

    Borja was one of the most disciplined Mexican players and also one of the most unpredictable, mainly because he was a natural goal poacher.

7. Hugo Sanchez

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    DENIS DOYLE/Associated Press

    A hard-working and technical striker, Sanchez won the Pichichi award five times. He held the Real Madrid record for most goals scored in one season (38) for 21 years until Cristiano Ronaldo broke it (40).

    The IFFHS named "Hugol" CONCACAF's best Player of the Century and included him in Real Madrid's all-time greatest XI.

    He scored 234 goals in his time in Spain, more than any other Mexican who has gone overseas.

    The only place where he didn't excel was at El Tri, mainly because the team was sanctioned by FIFA when Sanchez was in his prime, including the 1990 World Cup.

    Despite it all, he managed to score 29 times wearing the green jersey, making the all-time scorers' list (seventh).

6. Luis Garcia

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Luis Garcia was the next Mexican to follow Hugo Sanchez’s success in Spain.

    He spent six years with UNAM before he signed a contract with Atletico Madrid and quickly earned the starting position.

    Garcia scored 20 goals in his first season overseas, becoming the first Mexican to accomplish the feat.

    His forte was without a question shots from distance, which put the goalkeepers in distress on a regular basis, thanks to his well-educated right foot.

    His goal count goes as high as 184 goals with eight clubs, plus 29 with El Tri.

5. Luis Roberto Alves

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    Ben Radford/Getty Images

    "Zague" has been one of the tallest Mexican footballers in history (6'4''), but somehow his aerial game was not his signature.

    Instead, his stride was his most distinctive move and the most lethal, too. Alves left defenders behind easily and stood in front of the keepers constantly; once there, he could shoot or dribble to put the ball away.

    His true success came while playing for Club America, and after three seasons, he received his first cap for Mexico senior team.

    He scored 244 goals in an 18-year span.

4. Carlos Hermosillo

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    ALASTAIR GRANT/Associated Press

    No other player has scored as many times in a single season of the Mexican league as Carlos Hermosillo.

    In the 1994/1995 campaign, he put the ball in the back of the net 35 times. His goalscoring knack was enviable and thus he bagged the top scorer honors in three successive seasons.

    Hermosillo had a fantastic aerial game and could shoot with both feet from outside the box or at close range.

    The former Cruz Azul striker was an undisputed starter for the national team, where he netted 35 times to become the third best scorer of all time.

    He left professional football in 2001 and a year later started his political career.

3. Javier Hernandez

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    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    At the age of 25, Hernandez is the only active player among the top 10 scorers of El Tri. Chicharito has 35 goals to his name, and that number will only increase.

    He might not create plays like other players, but he is one of the best game changers in world football due to his speed and mobility inside the box.

    Hernandez will fight for every ball and that's where his success resides. Many players will not try to touch it with their back or heel, but Chicharito will definitively do it.

    Now, talking about his time with Manchester United, he tied Luis Garcia's record as the Mexican with most goals in his debut season in Europe. Overall, he has scored 57 times with the Red Devils.

2. Luis Hernandez

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    TONY GUTIERREZ/Associated Press

    Hernandez played for Cruz Azul, Queretaro, Monterrey, Necaxa and Boca Juniors before having his big break.

    "El Matador" will always be remembered for being the first and only Mexican to score more than two goals in the same World Cup competition; he put the ball away four times in France 1998 (against South Korea, Netherlands and Germany).

    That was his most successful year as he scored 14 times in 16 appearances with El Tri.

    Hernandez was a fast and skillful striker who knew by heart the position of the goal, hence it was easy for him to shoot from almost any direction.

1. Jared Borgetti

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    Jared Borgetti scored 252 goals throughout his career and became Santos Laguna's top scorer. He is also Mexico’s leading scorer with 46 goals to his name.

    Borgetti is best remembered for being one of the most potent and accurate headers of a ball in Mexican football. From the moment he jumped to the second he touched the ball, his technique was unique.

    His performance at the 2005 Confederations secured him a spot with Bolton Wanderers; however, he left for Al-Ittihad after one year and returned to Mexico in 2007.

     

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