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For years Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has been the face of the Mexican national team, and the face of CONCACAF football. He was far and away considered the best player in the CONCACAF, and teams struggled to deal with his pace and clinical finishing. He began showing what he was capable of at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, scoring two goals, one against France and one against Argentina. He followed up a strong World Cup with an excellent debut season with Manchester United in which he collected a Premier League medal and a second place finish in the Champions League, losing to champions Barcelona 3-1 at Wembley Stadium.
Hernandez quickly became a fan favorite at Old Trafford due to his excellent finishing and work ethic. He took over as second choice striker right behind Wayne Rooney and held that position until last season when Manchester United signed Robin Van Persie.
Following a disappointing season with Manchester United, it appears that his reign at the top of the CONCACAF group has come to an end. Hernandez fell out of favor in Manchester United and was relegated to the bench for much of the season. He was fourth choice striker for the Old Trafford outfit, and this deeply hurt his form, confidence, and ability to put the ball in the net.
His lowest moment of the season came during the Carling Cup tie against Sunderland when Hernandez missed a penalty in an overall disappointing game for Manchester United. Manchester United were defeated by Sunderland and bounced from the cup prematurely, this did not bode well for the Mexican, who only saw his already limited playing time diminish. Overall he made 24 appearances in the league scoring four goals, 18 of these appearances came as a substitute.
Even with limited playing time many still felt that he would turn on the gears for Mexico and lead them out of their group in Brazil. This is no longer the case. El Tri has released a statement, which says that Hernandez will be omitted from the starting 11 for Mexico. Oribe Peralta and Giovanni Dos Santos will lead the line for Mexico. Hernandez will be used, as a “super sub” for Mexico, like he has done at Manchester United many times before, but this is a long ways away from the superstar he looked to be just a few seasons ago.
Hernandez was the MVP of the 2011 Gold Cup, which Mexico won with a 4-2 finals victory over the United States. He scored seven goals during the tournament, and was nearly unstoppable. Now he will be settling for a bit part role in Brazil in 2014, waiting for an opportunity to come knocking, and hoping he will have his moment to shine.
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