Javier Hernandez may be forgiven for getting a little excited after scoring the only goal in Real Madrid's 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid in Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final, but former Premier League star-turned-pundit Thierry Henry still criticised the Mexico international for his celebration after he found the back of the net.
Hernandez didn't acknowledge Cristiano Ronaldo's assist, irking Henry in the process.
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Henry Defends Comments on Twitter
Thursday, April 23
Despite a night to reflect on his comments, which have caused quite the stir, Henry stood by his assertion with a handful of tweets:
Henry Criticises Hernandez
Wednesday, April 22
As reported by The Daily Telegraph, the Arsenal legend took issue when Chicharito failed to acknowledge the assist from team-mate Ronaldo and celebrated “as if he had won the World Cup”:
Tonight was his opportunity and we don't even know if he's going to play after that.
He had a couple of chances in the game before that but I can tell you he can thank Ronaldo tonight.
I know he went on to celebrate alone and everything but he can thank Ronaldo. For me, he has to. That is, for me, Ronaldo's goal. What I don't like after [the goal] is it seems like he won the World Cup [with his celebration]. Turn around and celebrate with Ronaldo.
Ronaldo made a great last-second pass inside the penalty area to isolate Hernandez, who was suddenly faced with a gaping net and could hardly miss the chance. The Liverpool Echo's Ian Doyle even joked it was very unlike Ronaldo to make that pass in the first place:
Exactly why Henry has an issue with Hernandez's celebrations is a bit unclear. The entire Real Madrid team ran toward the corner flag to celebrate the fact they had just scored the goal that would put them through to the semi-final, and they all gathered around Chicharito.
For the Mexican, who has spent the majority of the season on the bench and hadn't scored a Champions League goal in years, it was understandably a big moment. Hernandez even cried after the goal, and pundits like Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl understood all of the emotion he must have been feeling:
PlayStation Europe's Roberto Kusabbi didn't understand the criticism either:
Hernandez only started the match because Karim Benzema was forced to watch from the stands due to an injury, and he may not start another of that magnitude again all season. In all likelihood, this was his greatest moment in a Real Madrid shirt, with the team unlikely to turn his loan deal from Manchester United into a permanent one.
With that in mind, we may as well give the forward a pass on this one, and let him enjoy his moment in the spotlight.