JOE’s favourite Mexican sportsmen: Javier Hernandez
Before reading about one of Mexico’s finest sportsmen, head on over to the Corona Ireland Facebook page to be in with a chance of winning the brilliant prize of an Ultimate Beach Break for two in Riveira Maya, Mexico.
Javier Hernandez is one of those rare breed of footballers that seems to be universally liked and he is one of the deadliest finishers in the game.
While he hasn’t always been a regular starter in his three years at Old Trafford, his scoring rate is impressive, hitting 51 goals and counting from 121 appearances, with many of those after being sprung from the bench.
Born in Guadalajara, Chicarito’s father was also a striker for the national team, though he has said since he didn’t think his son would follow in his footsteps. Little Pea quickly made his mark with his local team and signed his first professional contract at the age of 15.
After fleeting appearances, he was joint-top scorer in 2009 with 11 goals in 17 appearances and finished top scorer the following season despite missing a number of games through injury.
By this stage Man Utd had become aware of Chicarito and chief scout Jim Lawlor spent three weeks in February and March of 2010 to assess the front man. After positive reports, United decided to push the deal through before the upcoming World Cup, which turned out to be a very shrewd move.
After making his international bow in 2009, Hernandez was in amongst the goals for Mexico around the time United were interested and by May he had bagged six goals. At the World Cup in South Africa he netted against France and Argentina to add to his growing reputation.
His first season at Old Trafford could hardly have gone any better. He scored against Chelsea in the Community Shield – he scored in three games against the Blues that season – and ended with 20 goals, making him the first player since Ruud van Nistelrooy to achieve such a feat in his debut season. He won the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award to add to his Premier League title.
Hernandez missed all of United’s pre-season and the beginning of the league campaign when it was discovered he was suffering from a pre-existing neurological condition. He played fewer games that season, but still got 13 goals, to add to his 11 for Mexico in 2011.
His third season was a streaky affair, one goal in August in September, a five game scoring sequence in October and November and a drought towards the end of the season, he still finished with 18 goals by the end of the campaign, including Alex Ferguson’s final home game against Swansea and also his last ever game against West Brom. He also finished the season in style for Mexico, grabbing three goals in the Confederations Cup.
A hugely popular player within the squad, he has won widespread admirers for his ability, but also his attitude considering he has spent a lot of time on the sidelines with such intense up front.
Don’t forget to enter the competition to win an Ultimate Beach Break in Riveira Maya in Mexico with thanks to Corona Ireland over on the Corona Ireland Facebook page.
Mexico – the place to be.