Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez has revealed previous desire to represent the Mexican national team for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, stating, “I saw myself being there, and getting a call up.”
The forward has a longstanding history with the Mexican national team.
Chicharito has become one of El Tri’s most influential figures since debuted on September 30, 2009 against Colombia. He currently stands as the national team’s leading goalscorer, tallying 52 in 109 appearances to inspire El Tri to several Concacaf trophies and Round of 16 appearances at the 2010, 2014 and 2018 World Cups.
But his involvement with the national team dwindled after a controversy in 2019. The player broke concentration during a Nations League camp, creating conflict between himself and staff, according to former head coach Gerardo Martino.
Subsequently, Chicharito failed to receive call ups for World Cup qualifiers and did not make the 26-player roster for Qatar.
“I saw myself going to this World Cup, and being called up. But due to a coach’s decisions, it did not happen, and I have to respect it. I accepted the decision, but believe me I did everything possible on and off the pitch to be taken into consideration [for the 26-player roster],” he said in an exclusive interview with 90min.
“But at the end of the day that’s how it is, only 26 players have to go and we had some that were left out and that’s how it happens.”
But with a new World Cup cycle and coaching staff within the Mexican national team, the player has his sight set on 2026.
“Yes [I can see myself representing Mexico at the 2026 World Cup.] Look, there’s a dude who said ‘imaginémonos cosas chingonas,’ so of course I would say yes. But obviously it requires a lot, how will I get there physically, which is the most important thing,” he also told 90min.
“But I think that with the care, with the investment of time and work that I am doing to my body, my mind and my emotions, of course why not. There are many examples of players performing, not only in soccer, but in many sports, who perform at the age of 40 that are extraordinary. So yes, why not. Obviously yes. It will depend on many factors, but my answer is yes.”
Chicharito last played for Mexico on September 6, 2019 in the 3-0 triumph over the United States, where he scored the opening goal. Despite a lack of international involvement, he’s remained in peak shape with LA Galaxy, recording 37 goals and five assists in 65 appearances.
The player vowed to continue working hard, as he heads into his fourth season with the Major League Soccer team.
LA Galaxy will kick off the 2023 MLS campaign on February 25 against LAFC at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, while Mexico is set to return to action on March 23 in a Concacaf Nations League match vs. Suriname.