Why Manchester United's Javier Hernandez Will Have a Huge World Cup for Mexico

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistJune 12, 2014

Jun 6, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Portugal defender Jo  o Pereira (21) battles  Mexico forward Javier Hern  ndez (14) for the ball during the second half of Portugal's 1-0 win in an international friendly at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Javier Hernandez has already appeared in a World Cup. Four years ago, Chicharito scored two goals in 169 minutes he spent on the pitch. In Brazil he will also be a thriving force for the team.

Hernandez arrived in South Africa in 2010 with a signed contract with Premier League heavyweights Manchester United; his situation right now is very different.

In 2010, people in Europe didn't know much about the Mexican who had caught Sir Alex Ferguson's attention but he was a fan favorite in his country.

Chicharito was the top scorer of the 2010 Bicentenario tournament after netting 10 times in 11 appearances. He was named best striker of the season.

Despite his success with Chivas de Guadalajara he started the World Cup on the bench and made his debut against the host in the 73rd minute.

His first goal, against France, proved he could change the score in the blink of an eye, just like he did so many times with his club. His second, against Argentina, endorsed his commitment despite the adversity; Mexico lost 3-1 in the round of 16.

It's been a long way for Hernandez. His playing time with the Red Devils has been dramatically cut since Ferguson left the club.

According to NBC Sports, in his debut season in the Premier League, Hernandez appeared in 27 games (1,488 minutes) and scored 13 times.

The contrast with his latest season is crushing. Chicharito was 24 times on the pitch but only accumulated 839 minutes. That's 649 minutes less; even if he had played the other three games of difference between one season and another, he would still have fallen short by 379.

So how come he made Miguel Herrera's team? And most importantly, how it is possible for him to have a massive World Cup?

The answer is easy: Hernandez is the kind of player you don't find easily.

He pours his heart on the pitch. No matter the scenario, you'll always see him running and trying to make a difference.

His mentality is in a different place if you compare it with his teammates. Chicharito has been one of the most active Mexicans in Europe, despite it all, and it shows on the pitch.

He has matured a lot since 2010. At that time he was the typical goal poacher, he was in the right place at the right time, which was fantastic for the team.

But what happened when he couldn't finish the play? Chicharito's knack for goal scoring clouded his judgment and instead of passing the ball, he shot every time he felt like, seeking to surprise the keeper. Of course, the threat was lost by then.

Now Hernandez understands that he will not always score and that others may have a better chance to help the squad.

The following graphs show the striker's stats for assists and pass success in the Premier League since he joined Manchester United.

NBC Sports


Right now Mexico needs that kind of player, one who risks, fights and spreads his animosity to his teammates.

Chicharito has become a complete footballer and he knows he must have a fantastic tournament because the summer transfer window is his ticket to leaving Manchester United for a team where he can polish his skills even more.

Also, keep in mind that he can become Mexico's top scorer in World Cups if he puts the ball away three times.

Luis Hernandez (not related) has four goals under his name (France 1998), no other footballer has scored that many times.

There's a lot at stake for Chicharito and despite his lack of playing time he still has a couple of reasons to make a difference and make of Brazil 2014 an unforgettable moment.


All advanced stats courtesy of FEMEXFUT, unless otherwise noted.



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