A natural goal poacher, Javier Hernandez was an icon in Mexico before he joined Manchester United thanks to his performances with the national team and with Chivas de Guadalajara.
Chicharito grew up surrounded with football, as both his grandfather and father played professionally in Mexico.
Initially a right-back, Hernandez took over the attacking zone when he was playing in the youth system of Chivas and never looked back.
His career flourished quickly. Hernandez became one of the most lethal strikers of the Liga MX, securing the top scorer and best striker honors in the 2010 Bicentenario tournament.
The expectations grew when the Red Devils announced his transfer in April 2010, just two months before the World Cup.
Four years later, Chicharito continues to be a thriving force and a game changer for both teams. No matter how much time he spends on the pitch, he has what it takes to make things happen.
He received his first cap in 2009 for a friendly game against Colombia. Hernandez played 34 minutes and did not score; however, it would be the first of 58 matches with El Tri so far.
After five years, Chicharito has scored 35 goals wearing the green jersey. That’s an average of 1.6 goals per game.
With the national team, Hernandez has had to adjust. He is not only the player who moves inside the box quickly to surprise the goalkeeper; he also drives away the defenders from his teammates and creates spaces.
Granted, he has not been at his best lately, but it has a lot to do with the lack of playing time with his club. However, he will always be a game changer.
He has been an undisputed starter with Mexico since El Tri faced Argentina at South Africa 2010.
The most evident difference when he plays for the national team is that he has more possession. He is not only the player who taps in, he runs, passes the ball and creates plays, sometimes even through the flanks.
His aerial game has also been a factor with El Tri; so far, he has scored 11 times with the head.
Overall, he is a reliable player who fights hard and takes his time.
Unlike with Mexico, Hernandez hardly ever starts a game. However, he has managed to stay focused.
He may not score the most beautiful goals, but he definitively nets the most important ones. His four fastest ones (as a sub) have meant points for the Red Devils.
In 2010, he scored the winner against Valencia in the UEFA Champions League, he came in in the 76th minute and nine minutes later smacked the ball with his face.
That same year, the Capital One Cup clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers was tied to two goals, Hernandez scored in the last minute, just 10 after he went into the pitch.
The Premier League has also seen his abilities. In 2011, he put the ball away against Liverpool in the 81st minute, which meant a draw for Manchester United. It has been his fastest goal so far (as a sub); he took six minutes to change the score.
Perhaps this season has not been his most consistent; however, he has not lost his knack for goal scoring. Last March, he netted in United's 4-1 victory over Aston Villa. Chicharito put the ball away in the injury time (90’+1), after spending 17 minutes on the pitch.
Of course, his possession is not the same than with Mexico because he is the one who comes from behind and takes advantage of his speed to leave the defenders behind.
He needs to get ahead of everybody because he plays very little, hence his margin of error is minimal.
Javier Hernandez is better when he plays for...
The Mexican needs to leave Manchester United for a club that gives him playing time. If he receives it, he will perfect his skills, which happen to be very impressive.
This will impact his performance with El Tri and allow him to go back to his golden days.
The fact that he is not playing with the Red Devils is a direct blow to his confidence and continuity, which in the long run can damage his career greatly.