I am a die-hard fan of the Chivas de Guadalajara (Americanistas, there is the door). So I remember watching Javier Hernandez make his debut with them in a 2006 match against Necaxa.
With the Chivas winning 3-0, Hernandez came on as a substitute for the fan-favorite Omar Bravo in the 82nd minute of the game. With the win already within our grasp, I thought Hernandez was just another substitute stuck in the young pool of talent that was doomed to try and prove itself in the fleeting minutes of any game.
No more than five minutes later, he proved me wrong.
Receiving a pass near the goal, Hernandez made an impressive cut to open up some space and rolled in the fourth goal of the game.
Over the course of the next two seasons, Hernandez made several appearances, with no goals to show for them surprisingly. He began scoring again in 2009, ending the season as one of the top-scorers in the league. Sure enough, by the fall he was making his debut for the Mexican national team, and the rumors of the Manchester United transfer had already started.
The rest is history. Hernandez became the first Mexican player to join Manchester United, scoring again as a substitute in his debut. With a successful season, he won over the hearts of even the most skeptical Man U. fans. After he became the top-scorer in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament, where he led Mexico to a championship, “El Chicharito” was a name recognized worldwide.
I have been rooting for Chicharito every step of the way. So, naturally, I was devastated when I heard reports that Man U. manager Alex Ferguson had refused permission for him to play at the London Olympics in July. His decision came despite the fact that he originally intended to allow Chicharito to participate in the games.
Ferguson said Hernandez needs proper rest before the 2012-2013 Premier League season, since he hasn’t had a proper holiday in three years.
There has been no official statement on the matter from Chicharito himself, but if he has agreed to the vacation, then I support him every step of the way. Nobody knows his body better than himself, and if he believes he needs to rest, then I believe him.
However, if this is solely Ferguson’s idea, then I’m calling a foul – red card! Since when do regular season games take priority over international tournaments? Both the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup are meant to showcase a nation’s best talent, and Mexico is going to exclude arguably its best player because Ferguson is desperate for a trophy?
The fans will not stand for it!
Since then, Hernandez has been called up to play for Mexico’s World Cup qualifiers and Ferguson can’t deny him permission to play those games. Still, Ferguson should consider resting Chicharito during the Premier League’s pre-season because fans of El Tri are expecting some more magic this summer.
This article originally appeared in Being Latino.