Javier Hernández or Chicharito as he wears on his jersey is a 27 year old striker currently playing for the Mexican National Team and Bayer Leverkusen. Hernández has played in 2 world cups and is currently the second highest goal scorer of all time for the Mexican national team. Hernández earned the nickname Chicharito (which means little pea in Spanish) because of his father. Javier Hernández Gutiérrez, Hernández’s father who also was a soccer player was called Chicharo (pea in Spanish) for his signature green eyes and his son, who also has green eyes, has a nickname in the same vein.
In terms of play style Hernández is often known as a goal poacher due to his affinity for scoring goals at close range, but that isn’t all he is. His movement off the ball, quickness on the ball and well-timed runs often put pressure on the defense and open up space for him and his teammates. An aspect of his game that makes him a truly special striker is his excellence in the air despite his 5’5 stature. He is known for scoring fantastical diving, and running header goals.
Javier Hernández began his soccer career at Chivas in the lower division team for a club called the Chivas Corres before being discovered by Manchester United. Though Hernández started his Manchester United career with a spectacular 20 goal debut season and even a goal in his debut game, his time at United left much to be desired. Stuck behind Danny Welbeck and Robin Van Persie for much of his United career Hernández rarely started and often came on as a sub to provide a spark for the attack. And his perpetual ability to score goals in such a role earned him the Supersub tag. After Manager Sir. Alex Ferguson retired following the 2012-2013 season and David Moyes stepped in Hernández had he worst season at United, scoring only 9 goals in 24 appearances (ESPN). Then in 2014, when Louis Van Gaal stepped into the manager role he let Hernández know he wasn’t in the team’s future plans. This led Hernández to sign a loan deal with Real Madrid.
While at Real Madrid he had a frustrating season as he once again spent a lot of time on bench. But Hernández did score the game-winning goal in the quarter finals of the Champions League against rival Atletico Madrid. After the game he remarked “The goal against Atletico was a big relief because it was a difficult year and I had so few opportunities.”. After the season, Hernández moved to Bayer Leverkusen where he is currently having the season of his career.
Currently, Javier has scored 13 goals in 17 appearances and has guided Leverkusen to 3rd in the Bundesliga (ESPN). For the first time since he played Chivas lower division he is a consistent starter and that means a lot to him. Speaking on the topic in an interview with Fox Sports Hernández said “What I was missing in the last two or three years, it was like I was playing sometimes and then returning to the bench. But now that I am playing most of the game or almost all of my games here in my club, that’s what I need. Because people sometimes think the confidence is with goals, but I don’t think like that. I think confidence is to play day-by-day, to get rhythm.” The prove is in the pudding for Hernández as he is now 4th in the Bundesliga in goals scored, and early in the season had a streak of 6 straight games with a goal. Chicharito is finally getting a chance to be the starting striker and is taking full advantage of it.
Dunbar, Ross. “Javier Hernandez, Leverkusen Need to Dig Deep in Second Half of Season.” FOX Sports. N.p., 20 Jan. 2016. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.
Galaviz, Yair. “Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez: Manchester United New Prodigy.” Bleacher Report. Turner Broadcasting Services, 8 Apr. 2010. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.
“Javier Hernandez Attributes Bayer Leverkusen Form to Opportunity.” ESPNFC.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.
“Javier Hernández.” Player Profile. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.