The Tragedy of Javier Hernandez

By | April 19, 2015

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is a Mexican soccer player currently on loan from Manchester United to Real Madrid.

Chicharito at Real Madrid

Over the past few years Chicharito has struggled to gain the attention of managers of the clubs that he’s played on. During his tenure at Real Madrid he has only had the chance to play 848 minutes and was often overlooked in favor of Ronaldo, Benzema, and Bale and will not be signed permanently by Real Madrid at the end of his loan period. In retrospect, the loan did not make much sense for Real Madrid as they already have a plethora of players who can play at the top and do not need another. On Manchester United Hernandez showed excellent form his first season, scoring an incredible number of goals and proving himself to be a great buy. However after this season, Hernandez didn’t reproduce this performance and was quickly benched by Louis van Gaal, a situation that he never quite seemed to recover from.

With his loan to Madrid expiring at the end of the 2014/2015 season and his Manchester United contract ending in 2016, Chicharito has an opportunity to think about what his next move will be. It seems that the most obvious option would be to return to the premier league where he seems to be at his best. However Louis van Gaal does not seem keen on Hernandez, as he has been used as a super sub for the last several years, and if Hernandez were to go back to Manchester United he may have to contend with the fact that he would not, in what should be the prime of his career, be a starter. On that note, it has been rumored that Manchester United has been looking to sell the striker to Southampton in a deal involving Nathaniel Clyne who has been actively pursued by Manchester United. In my opinion this could be a great move for Chicharito who may be better appreciated by Southampton and could get the playing time that he has been looking for.

The tragedy in all of this is that Hernandez is a brilliant player whose career has been cut short by a lack of playing time. Perhaps the root of this problem is that the teams Hernandez has played for the last couple of years (Manchester United and Real Madrid) are teams with deep pockets and no worries when it comes to signing big name players. Consequently Hernandez has simply been overshadowed by his peers on these teams and has, as a result never been given the chance to show his true worth. Hernandez still has a chance to shine in European soccer, he simply needs to be given a chance at a club that will appreciate his talent.

Update on 4/23/2015:

Javier Hernandez played for Real Madrid in the Champions League Quarter Finals against Atletico Madrid in place for a injured Karim Benzema. At the 87th minute Hernandez scored the lone goal of the match, sending Real Madrid into the Semi-Finals of the Champions League. Although this will not change his situation, it shows that he’s still got it.

6 thoughts on “The Tragedy of Javier Hernandez

  1. Reyina Senatus

    It seems like Hernandez is unfortunately at the mercy of two teams that do not seem to need his talent at this current time. It’s a little disappointing that he has to wait for players to get injured, as Andrew mentioned, to get a shot. I agree with you Carlos in that moving to a different club with less star players would give him the opportunity to showcase his talents. Hopefully, he gets some more chances when he returns to Manchester or whenever he decides to go next.

  2. Pingback: From Tragedy to “Golden Chicharito” | Soccer Politics / The Politics of Football

  3. Andrew Bihl

    It looks like he’s going to get his chance soon. Benzema, Bale, Marcelo, and Modric are all out for Real’s next game (for various reasons) against Atletico Madrid, so they’re probably going to need him. Hopefully he performs well because it look alike he’s approaching a critical point in his career.

    EDIT: Here’s a link to an article on the situation, which also states that Chicharito did well in his last game with Real. Note that the author has predicted various line-ups to be used, all of which include Chicharito Hernandez.

  4. Deemer Class IV

    I agree with Ben and there have been posts previously on here related to these types of situations. It occurs in the soccer academies where players whom will never play for that club are kept and developed just so they can be sold off. Chicharito very well could be kept as a bargaining tool to get someone more beneficial for their team in a trade, or more money. It is certainly unfortunate but I think the best case scenario for him would be to find a place where he can play right away because ultimately, playing time is usually the primary concern for an athlete.

  5. Ben Scharf

    J’aime beaucoup ton poste sur Chicharito. Je pense qu’il joue très forte, spécialement pour l’équipe nationale du Mexique. Tous mes souvenirs de lui sur le terrain deviennent des jeux quand il portait le maillot du Mexique. Quand j’ai lu ton poste la première fois, j’ai pris la perspective d’un manager d’une équipe, comme Manchester United ou Real Madrid, qui a des moyens monétaire de signer beaucoup de bons footballeurs. Peut-être, ils gardent beaucoup de bons joueurs, comme Chicharito, pour des raisons compétitives. Si ils tiennent les droits de Chicharito, les autres équipes de Premier League ne peuvent pas lui utiliser quand ils jouent contre Manchester United. De la perspective d’un joueur comme Chicharito, ces pensées d’un manager peuvent détruire votre carrière dans le monde du foot et c’est injuste. J’espère que les managers sont plus juste que cela, mais peut-être pas.

  6. Danielle Lazarus

    I agree completely with what you said, Carlos. Hernandez has only started in six games, only two of which were La Liga. The last one was about a week and a half ago against Eibar (currently sitting at 15th place in the league). Hernandez played all 90 minutes, scoring one of Madrid’s 3 goals. Clearly, if Hernandez is given the minutes, he will execute. He played in a similar dominating fashion in Mexico’s recent friendly against Ecuador, scoring his national team’s only goal in a 1-0 victory. Afterwards, he was asked about his time in Madrid, and wasn’t hesitant at all in holding back his feelings. His exact quote: “My situation is frustrating. I work hard and give 100 per cent in training, but as far as playing matches go, my chances are minimal. I belong to a great team but I’m not part of the important bit, the actual games. Sometimes my confidence is down, even though I’m trying to make it high, with the help of the people who are always by my side and who support me.” In a world where athletes are trained to essentially keep their mouths shut and substitute their true feelings with cliches, Hernandez’s comments translate into what is presumably a REALLY bad situation in Spain’s capital. It really is a shame, considering Hernandez has a) proven himself when he gets the minutes (and on the Mexican national team) and b) “Chicharito” truly IS a fan favorite in Madrid, known for his fun personality off the field and often commanding some of the loudest cheers in Santiago Bernabeu. With what you said, Carlos, I don’t know how I could foresee Hernandez’s situation improving in the near future, but I hope he explores his options and finds success soon.


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