Friday, June 24, 2011
GOLD CUP: 'Chicharito' ... human?
By Scott French
Just in case you weren't certain -- and given his accomplishments on the field the last two years, there's reason not to be sure -- Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is no superman.
At least, that's what he said Friday afternoon as Mexico prepared for a walkthrough at the Rose Bowl in advance of Saturday evening's CONCACAF Gold Cup title game against the U.S.
Hernandez, who has a tournament-best seven goals in five games for El Tri, is a hero throughout Mexico and, after his startlingly superb first season with Manchester United, around the globe. He's an idol, a rock star.
Just don't tell him that.
“I'm not a rock star. I'm not an idol,” he protested to a long line of media in the tunnel leading from the locker rooms to the Rose Bowl field. “I'm only a human being. … I'm one more person, one more player in the national team.”
One more, huh? Let's look at the numbers.
Since the beginning of the 2009 Apertura campaign in Mexico's Primera Division, when Hernandez was with Guadalajara, he has scored 62 goals in 101 competitive matchess with Chivas, Man United and El Tri.
He scored 21 in 28 games his final year at Guadalajara, which led to the transfer to England's biggest club. He scored 20 in 45 games, all competitions, in his first season with the Red Devils. And his Gold Cup total has pushed his international numbers to 21 -- two of them in a breakout World Cup last summer -- in 28 matches.
That's super. Except to Hernandez.
“For me,” he said, “I don't think am I good or I bad. The only thing I have in my mind is that I want to do the best effort, of everything I have in my hands, to my profession. … I don't feel like I'm more or less than another person. I'm only one human being, and I'm playing football right now, soccer, and I'm very happy.”