After Friday’s night friendly game between Chivas Guadalajara and Manchester United, Javier Hernandez will have left Mexico behind him to embark on the universal footballing dream – to achieve in Europe. Tonight’s friendly will be a lot like the reception after a wedding. The bride’s family celebrating their daughter joining another family, taking their name with her. Only Hernandez plays the part of the bride as he waves goodbye the club who made him the player he is.
From the moment he arrived in the cradle, Javier was under immense pressure. His father and grandfather had already forged successful careers in Mexico and both had played in World Cups. But Javier simply turned this pressure into an obsession. His grandfather, Tomás Balcazar, recalls the Javier being ‘restless as a youngster’. But even his father thought Chicharito wouldn’t made it as a professional footballer.
At the age of 9, he joined C.D. Guadalajara but unlike so many youngsters who fail to make the grade as the pressure increases, he earned himself a professional contract aged 15. He proved prolific playing for Chivas Guadalajara with 26 goals in 64 games and was still only 21 at the time of his transfer to Manchester United.
After a depressing 4-4 away goals defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Hernandez signing was publicized much to the astonishment of the world. So much so even Javier’s grandfather thought he was just gone on a holiday to Atlanta in America! But a very impressive 2 goal salvo in the World Cup later and expectations are sky-high for the man known as El Chicharito.
His debut against the MLS All-Stars for Manchester United again heightened hopes as an excellent finish with his weaker right foot prompted Alex Ferguson to say he would strike ‘fear’ into his defenders next season.
As the stage is set for tonight’s friendly, a fiesta feeling will have transcended among the Mexican people and Chicharito will bid farewell to the club where he made his name – And be welcomed into the club which will engrave his name into history.