Major League Soccer (MLS) is the talk of the town thanks to Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi signing a lucrative contract with Inter Miami, the team David Beckham co-owns. While some soccer fans are only just discovering the MLS, Mexicans have long been aware of the competition because several Mexican stars ply their trade north of the border, including the legendary Javier Hernandez Balcazar. Here is some information about the Mexican national team’s all-time leading goal scorer.
Hernandez is affectionately known as “Chicharito” because his father, Javier Hernandez Gutierrez, was nicknamed “El Chicharo.” The supremely talented striker has played for some of the biggest soccer teams globally, including Manchester United and Real Madrid. However, Chicharito currently plays in the MLS for L.A. Galaxy, one of the league’s most successful teams, so he will come face-to-face with Messi over the next couple of seasons.
Online sports betting California residents often back Chicharito to be L.A. Galaxy’s Golden Boot winner because of his goal-scoring prowess; he has scored almost 250 goals for club and country during his long and illustrious career. He started his career with C.D. Guadalajara when he was only nine, making his professional debut as a fresh-faced 18-year-old. His goal-poaching ability attracted the attention of some of European soccer’s biggest clubs, including Manchester United of the English Premier League.
Winning the English Premier League Twice
Chicharito joined Manchester United in time for the 2010-11 season and became an instant hit with the Red Devils supporters. He scored 50 goals in his first three seasons, helping Manchester United win the Premier League title twice in addition to reaching the UEFA Champions League final. Unfortunately for United fans, injuries and a lack of playing time ultimately resulted in Chicharito leaving and joining Real Madrid on loan before transferring to Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen in 2015.
The diminutive forward was Leverkusen’s top scorer for the two seasons he spent in the Bundesliga, scoring 39 goals in only 76 appearances, which prompted West Ham United of the Premier League to pay £16 million to secure his services. Although he was not as prolific for West Ham, “The Hammers” fans loved him and were bitterly disappointed when he handed in a transfer request and signed for Sevilla of Spain’s La Liga. It didn’t work out for Chicharito in Spain, and he only played 15 games, scoring three goals.
L.A. Galaxy needed a striker and decided Chicharito was the man to fire them to MLS glory. He put pen to paper on a three-year deal, which made him the league’s highest-paid player at the time. He only scored twice in 12 games during his debut season, but has been deadly in front of goal since. In 2021, he scored 17 goals in 21 games before firing in 18 goals in 32 appearances in 2022. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL on June 7, 2023, forcing him to miss the rest of the campaign.