Potential stars of the World Cup 2010 – Mexico’s Javier Hernandez

Across England the eyes of the nation will be fully focused on our national team and their quest for World Cup glory. Manchester United fans will be forgiven though if their attentions occasionally turn elsewhere as they get the chance to catch a glimpse of their latest potential superstar.

The 21-year-old Mexican forward Javier Hernandez has caught the eye of Europe’s elite domestic sides over the past 18 months with impressive performances and goal-scoring figures for Mexican club side Chivas de Guadalajara FC. Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was keen to secure the signature of the striker and on April 8 the two clubs agreed a deal that will see Hernandez move to Old Trafford at the beginning of July for an undisclosed fee – much to the disappointment of Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid who were also lining up a move for the talented Mexican.

Hernandez was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and joined C.D Guadalajara at the tender age of nine. From there he continued to progress and began playing for the reserve side Chivas Coras at the beginning of the 2005/06 season. He made an immediate impact when he came off the bench in the 82nd minute to make his debut against Necaxa and scored the fourth goal in a 4-0 victory after just five minutes on the pitch. Despite a promising start to his career, Hernandez registered just one goal in 14 appearances over the course of the next two seasons and failed to live up to the reputation he had set after a glittering junior career. His career was somewhat reignited during the 2008/09 season, making 31 appearances throughout the season and registering seven goals. His goal-scoring return that season may still have disappointed him and the club management, who continued to keep faith with the striker, but he had produced improved performances as the season went on and was perhaps beginning to fulfil his potential.

This season, Hernandez has comprehensively confirmed the promise of the previous season, topping the league goal-scoring chart with 21 goals from just 28 appearances, while establishing himself as Guadalajara’s first choice front man at just 21 years of age. His rapid progress over the past 12 months hasn’t gone unnoticed and Mexico national Coach Javier Aguirre handed the striker a call-up for the friendly against Colombia on September 30, 2009. Hernandez didn’t seem at all fazed by the occasion and produced an accomplished performance that included an assist. His first international goal came just five months and one international cap later when he netted a brace in a 5-0 win over Bolivia. He has since added to his tally with goals against both New Zealand and North Korea, and despite not featuring at all during Mexico’s successful World Cup qualifying campaign, he looks likely to make the journey to South Africa with an impressive international record of four goals from seven caps.

As his recent record for club and country suggests, the young Mexican is a natural goal-scorer who is comfortable scoring goals with either foot, or his head – despite being just 5 foot 7 ½ inches tall. Hernandez has also shown he has an eye for the spectacular goal, while showing striker’s instinct and a composed head inside the penalty area. He does face stiff competition in his quest to lead the line for Mexico, with experienced front men Cuauht

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