Few, very few national teams in the world have the luxury of playing a FIFA World Cup without their best active striker. And what is even more incredible is that that man is also their all-time leading scorer. Yes, the team in question is the Mexico National Team without Javier Chicharito Hernandez.
The breakup of a seemingly eternal love affair between Mexico and Chicharito occurred in 2019, when an act of indiscipline set the stage for Gerardo Martino to no longer consider the current Los Angeles Galaxy striker. The Argentine manager wanted an apology, which came almost 3 years later.
True, Chicharito was already pardoned by Martino, but this did not make him move up in the Argentine manager's line of preferences for the striker position. In an ironic twist of fate, one of the strikers who could be chosen to represent El Tri in Qatar 2022 is a self-confessed fan of Javier Hernandez.
Martino chooses an up-and-coming youth over the experienced Chicharito
One of the names trending among El Tri fans ahead of the upcoming FIFA World Cup is Santiago Gimenez, currently a striker for Feyenoord of the Netherlands. Gimenez is the son of former Argentine footballer Christian Gimenez, who came to Mexico in 2004 to play in Liga MX. He established himself in such a way that he ended up becoming a Mexican national and playing for Mexico.
Santiago Gimenez was born in Argentina, but arrived in Mexico at the age of 3. In this country he grew as a person and a soccer player, reason enough for him to become a naturalized Mexican citizen many years ago. After making his mark as a striker for Cruz Azul, Gimenez emigrated to Holland, where he has immediately demonstrated with Feyenoord that he has a fierce instinct for scoring goals.
Gerardo Martino's 4-3-3 formation in Mexico has led him to consider 3 strikers for Qatar 2022, 1 starter and 2 substitutes. Raul Jimenez, who is in the process of healing from pubalgia, is the absolute starter. Thus, the fight for two places is between Rogelio Funes Mori, the aforementioned Santiago Gimenez and Henry Martin.
With Funes Mori, an Argentinean naturalized Mexican citizen, injured and out of shape, the spots appear to be open for Gimenez and Martin. If so, Javier Chicharito Hernandez would be displaced from Qatar 2022 precisely by a player who has confessed to being a fan of his, Santiago Gimenez himself.
"I remember the 2010 World Cup very well. It was a World Cup where Mexico did very well, although at the end they faced Argentina. There was a lot of hope that they would go through. That's where Chicharito was born as a model. It was a very nice World Cup", Gimenez stated in a chat with El Universal.
Chicharito Hernandez is the top scorer in the history of the Mexico National Team (52 goals). He is also one of the two Mexican players with the most goals in the FIFA World Cup (4 goals). It is natural that he has inspired the generations that come after him, however, it is ironic that one of those kids who admires him, is about to leave him out of Qatar 2022.