On Chicharito

Over the last 5 matches, Javier Hernandez has 4 of Real Madrid’s 14 goals while setting up 2 others.  No goal, of course, was as massive as the one he poked in last week vs Atletico, but it is safe to say that he is on a good run.  Which is exactly why Real Madrid took him on loan in the first place:  fill in and score goals while doing so.

This spot of good form has raised speculation about the Mexican’s future.  Will Real pick up the option?  Will ManU take him back?  Probably neither; let's be honest.  Regardless of where he ends up, Javier Hernandez did himself a huge favor by just being who he is: an instinctive goal scorer, yes, but more importantly, a consummate professional—a real pro’s pro. 

And that reason, more than anything else, is why Hernandez will be playing in the Champions League next season. Somewhere.  After the UCL Quarterfinal he called his goal the most important of his career.  He was right, but not because he put Real Madrid in the Semis.  It showed the kind of person he is.  After months and months where minutes were scarce, Chicharito jumped into a boiling cauldron and pulled out a huge result for his side, the side– los merengues-- the biggest sports team on the planet.  Do you think other clubs took notice?

A month ago, Hernandez provided some refreshing candor in an interview with Fox Deportes.  There were no stock answers, no talking points to hit.  He was frustrated, yes, but not disrespectful. “It is not for nothing that I am on this team”, he said. When his time came, he would be ready.  He was right.

His time may well be coming to an end with both Bale and Benzema nearing their return form injury. Nevertheless, Carlo Ancelotti stated that he was wrong in not giving Hernandez more minutes this season.  Stay tuned.

There are a lot things Chicharito isn’t.  “he is a poacher, nothing more” seems to be the prevailing critique of his detractors -- as if scoring goals is such a detriment.  Regardless of his shortcomings, those who have been following Chicharito’s career have noticed that he has rounded off his game quite nicely since he made his way to Old Trafford in 2010.  He still busts his ass in training, is well liked in the locker room (the congratulatory tweets from his United chums attested as much last week), and will try to help his team win with every atom in his body.  I mean, how many body parts has Hernandez scored with over the years? 

The question is which team will all those atoms be serving next season?