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Javier Hernández

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Hernández and the second or maternal family name is Balcázar.
Javier Hernández
Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez vs MLS All Stars.jpg
Hernández playing for Manchester United in 2010
Personal information
Full name Javier Hernández Balcázar[1]
Date of birth (1988-06-01) 1 June 1988 (age 27)
Place of birth Guadalajara, Mexico
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)[2]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Bayer Leverkusen
Number 7
Youth career
1997–2006 Guadalajara
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2010 Guadalajara 64 (26)
2010–2015 Manchester United 103 (37)
2014–2015 Real Madrid (loan) 23 (7)
2015– Bayer Leverkusen 10 (6)
National team
2007 Mexico U20 2 (1)
2009– Mexico 77 (42)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12:29, 21 November 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17 November 2015

Javier Hernández Balcázar (Spanish About this sound [xaˈβjeɾ erˈnandes] ; born 1 June 1988) is a Mexican professional footballer who plays as a forward for German club Bayer Leverkusen and the Mexico national team. Hernández is commonly known by his nickname, Chicharito (Mexican Spanish: little pea), which he wears on his shirt.

He began his career in 2006, playing for the Mexican club Guadalajara, before becoming the first Mexican player to join Manchester United in July 2010. After falling out of favour under managers David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, he spent the 2014–15 season on loan to Real Madrid, then moved permanently to Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen in August 2015. His minutes-per-goal ratio during his time with Manchester United is among the most prolific in the history of the Premier League.[3]

Hernández made his debut for Mexico in September 2009 in a match against Colombia. He has represented Mexico at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He was the Gold Cup's top scorer with seven goals and was named the most valuable player of the tournament.[4] He is the second highest goalscorer of all-time for the Mexico national team.[5]

Early life

Hernández was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco and first played in a recreation league when he was seven years old. Hernández lived in Morelia, Michoacán for over four years while his father played for Monarcas Morelia.[6] While living in Morelia, Hernández attended elementary school at the Instituto Piaget where he studied from third to sixth grade and played for the school's football team.[6] His father, Javier Hernández Gutiérrez, himself formerly a striker for the Mexico national team, said he never thought his son would actually make it as a professional. Hernández joined C.D. Guadalajara at the age of nine and signed his first professional contract when he was 15.[7] He was set to play in the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship, but an injury sidelined him from the team that ultimately won the championship.[8]

Club career

C.D. Guadalajara

Hernández began playing with Chivas' lower division team, Chivas Coras in Tepic, Nayarit in the 2005–06 season. He made his debut for Chivas in the 2006 Apertura in a win over Necaxa at Estadio Jalisco. With the score at 3–0, Hernández came on as a substitute for Omar Bravo in the 82nd minute, before scoring the fourth goal of the game five minutes later. It was his only goal in seven appearances in 2006–07. He made a further six appearances in 2007–08 without scoring.

Hernández made ten appearances in the 2008 Apertura without scoring, but he scored four goals in fifteen appearances in the 2009 Clausura. In the 2009 Apertura, Hernández finished as the joint-third top scorer, with eleven goals in seventeen appearances.[9] He started the 2010 Torneo Bicentenario with eight goals in five games.[10] He finished as a joint-leader in the goalscoring chart for the 2010 Torneo Bicentenario, with ten goals in eleven games and after spent 5 matches without playing because of an injury he suffered.[11]

Manchester United


Hernández on his Manchester United debut

Manchester United were first made aware of Hernández in October 2009; a scout went to Mexico that December and reported positively after watching a few games. Because of Hernández's age, the club originally planned to wait before making a move to sign him, but his potential involvement with the national team at the World Cup rushed the club into making a bid. United's chief scout, Jim Lawlor, was sent to Mexico for three weeks in February and March to watch Hernández and filed another positive report on him, before the club solicitor went over to Mexico to finalise the paperwork.[12]

On 8 April 2010, Hernández agreed a deal to sign for Manchester United for an undisclosed fee, subject to a work permit application.[13] The previous day, Hernández had been present at Manchester United's Champions League quarter-final win over Bayern Munich at Old Trafford.[14] The deal was conducted in complete secrecy; Hernández's agent was kept in the dark, as was his grandfather Tomás Balcázar, who thought Hernández was going on a trip to Atlanta in the United States.[15][16] As part of the deal, United played a friendly against Chivas to open their new stadium on 30 July.[17] On 27 May, the work permit was granted, allowing the transfer to be made official on 1 July.[18]

2010–11 season

Hernández playing for Manchester United

Hernández made his United debut on 28 July, coming on as a 63rd-minute substitute for Nani in the 2010 MLS All-Star Game; he scored his first goal for the club 18 minutes later, lobbing the ball over Nick Rimando from just outside the area after a long through-ball from Darren Fletcher.[19] Two days later, Hernández scored against Manchester United while playing in a friendly for his old club, Chivas; he started the game in a Chivas jersey and scored after just eight minutes. He switched sides at half-time, but he was unable to prevent a 3–2 defeat for Manchester United.[20] He scored for the third pre-season game in a row as he netted in a 7–1 victory over a League of Ireland XI at the newly built Aviva Stadium on 4 August.[21]

Hernández made his competitive debut on 8 August and scored his first goal in the process, netting United's second of a 3–1 victory over Chelsea in the 2010 FA Community Shield. He came on at the start of the second half and got on the end of a pass from Antonio Valencia before the Mexican's shot deflected off his own face and into the net.[22] On 16 August, Hernández made his Premier League debut as he replaced Wayne Rooney in the 63rd minute of their 3–0 home victory over Newcastle United.[23] He scored his first Champions League goal on 29 September, coming off the bench to score the only goal in an away win over Valencia.[24] He scored his first league goal for United in a 2–2 home draw against West Bromwich Albion on 16 October.[25] Eight days later he scored his first brace for the club, also his first away league goals, in a 2–1 away win over Stoke City.[26]

Two days on from this display, he came off the bench to score a last-minute winner, his first ever League Cup goal, in a 3–2 win over Wolves which sent them through to the quarter-finals where they were then knocked out by West Ham United.[27][28] On 1 January 2011, he came off the bench to head the winning goal in a 2–1 away win over West Bromwich Albion.[29] Hernández became the top scoring Mexican in Premier League history after opening the scoring in a 2–1 home victory over Stoke City on 4 January.[30]

On 25 January, Hernández scored the equalising goal of a 3–2 comeback away win over Blackpool.[31] Four days later he scored his first FA Cup goal as he netted the winner in a 2–1 away victory over Southampton.[32] Hernández netted twice in a 4–0 away win over Wigan on 26 February.[33] Eight days later, he netted a late consolation goal in a 3–1 derby defeat away to Liverpool.[34] Hernández netted twice in a 2–1 home win over Marseille on 15 March, sending United through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.[35] On 2 April, he scored the final goal against West Ham United as they came from two goals down to claim a 4–2 away win.[36]

On 8 April, Hernández was revealed as a contender for the PFA Young Player of the Year award alongside teammate Nani.[37] He opened the scoring in the 2–1 quarter-final win over Chelsea in the Champions League, with the game ending 3–1 on aggregate, sending United through to the semi-finals.[38] He continued his goal scoring form on 23 April scoring the winning goal with a header in the 1–0 home win over Everton.[39] On 8 May, Hernández scored the opening goal in a 2–1 home win over Chelsea after just 36 seconds to leave United one point away from winning the title.[40]

The goal against Chelsea made him the first player since Ruud van Nistelrooy in the 2001–02 season to score 20 goals for the club in his debut season.[41] Hernández capped his debut season with Manchester United by winning the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award on 18 May which was voted for by the fans.[42] On 28 May, Hernández played all 90 minutes in the 3–1 defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League Final.[43]

On 5 July 2011, the International Federation of Football History and Statistics named Hernández as the "World Goalgetter 2011", with 13 goals, ahead of other players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Giuseppe Rossi, and Lionel Messi.[44]

2011–12 season

After participating in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup with Mexico, Hernández returned to Manchester United to begin pre-season training in New York ahead of the 2011 MLS All-Star Game. On 26 July 2011, he was taken to the hospital after suffering a minor concussion after he was hit on the head with a ball during a training session; he was cleared the next day, but did not take part in the game.[45][46]

On 28 July 2011, it was reported that Rafael Ortega, the doctor at Chivas, informed Manchester United that Hernández was suffering from a pre-existing neurological condition. Ortega also explained that Hernández had suffered from "acute migraines and "headaches" as a teenager.[47][48] He did not participate in any of United's pre-season matches, nor the 2011 FA Community Shield. He also missed United's opening game of the season against West Bromwich Albion.

Hernández made his first appearance in the 2011–12 season on 22 August in a 3–0 win against Tottenham Hotspur, coming off the bench for Danny Welbeck in the 79th minute.[49] He returned to the starting lineup on 10 September against Bolton Wanderers, scoring twice in a 5–0 victory.[50] On 15 October 2011, Hernández came off the substitutes bench to net a crucial equaliser against Liverpool at Anfield in a 1–1 draw. In the 81st minute Hernández gambled on Danny Welbeck's flick on from a corner to steal in and head the equaliser.[51]

Hernández signed a new five-year contract on 24 October to tie him to Manchester United until 2016.[52] Hernández scored his fourth league goal of the season and the winner against Everton at Goodison Park, in a 1–0 victory on 29 October.[53] He then scored his fifth league goal of the season and the winner in United's next away game at Swansea City, a 1–0 win.[54] Hernández scored again in the following game at home to Newcastle United, when Wayne Rooney's shot was blocked by a defender and ricocheted back off Hernández and into the net. He was then carried off the pitch early in United's next league game away at Aston Villa, appearing to go over on his ankle without a challenge from an opponent. After the match Sir Alex Ferguson said he had sustained suspected ankle ligament damage and will be out for four weeks. On 18 December, Hernández made a surprise early return in a 2–0 win against QPR at Loftus Road as a 63rd-minute substitute for Danny Welbeck.

On 31 January 2012, Hernández scored his first goal since November, and his seventh goal of the season in a 2–0 league win at Old Trafford against Stoke City, scoring the first of two penalties.[55] Hernández continued his scoring form on 5 February at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea, scoring the third goal of a three-goal comeback draw, heading in a cross from Ryan Giggs.[56] On 16 February, Hernández scored his first goal in the Europa League, in a 2–0 away win against Ajax in the round of 32.[57] He scored again in the second leg at Old Trafford on 23 February, but this time in a 2–1 home defeat. However, United still won the tie 3–2 on aggregate.[58] On 18 March, Hernández scored twice in a 5–0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.[59]

2012–13 season

Hernández began his third season with United on 2 September 2012, coming on as a 72nd-minute substitute for Danny Welbeck in a 3–2 win against Southampton.[60] On 15 September, he was named in the starting eleven for the match against Wigan Athletic, playing all 90 minutes. Despite having a penalty saved in the fifth minute by Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi, Hernández scored his first goal of the season, as well as assisting in teammate Nick Powell's goal in a 4–0 victory.[61] On 23 October, Hernández netted a brace in a 3–2 comeback win against SC Braga in a Champions League group stage match after United had gone down 2–0 in the first half.[62] Five days later, he scored the winner against nine-man Chelsea in a controversial 3–2 win after he was deemed to have been in an offside position when scoring the goal.[62]

On 10 November 2012, Hernández came on as a second-half substitute and scored two goals as United came from 2–0 down to beat Aston Villa 2–3 at Villa Park. At the end of the match, Hernández claimed the hat-trick, but replays showed that his shot for United's second goal was hit wide until turned into his own net by Villa defender Ron Vlaar.[63] On 24 November, he scored his fifth league goal of the season in a 3–1 home win over QPR.[64] On 26 December, Hernández scored United's fourth goal in the final minutes in a 4–3 win over Newcastle United at Old Trafford.[65] He then began 2013 by scoring a brace against Wigan on 1 January, helping United to a 4–0 victory.[66] On 26 January 2013, Hernández would go on to score another brace, this time during an FA Cup match against Fulham which United won 4–1.[67]

In another FA Cup match against Reading on 18 February 2013, Hernández scored in the 72nd minute, giving United a 2–0 lead. His goal would end up being a deciding factor as United went on to win the game 2–1.[68] Although he started in United's 2–0 Premier League victory against QPR on 23 February 2013, he did not score in the match and he didn't score again until 10 March 2013 in another FA Cup match against Chelsea which ended in a 2–2 draw.[69] Hernández opened the scoring in manager Sir Alex Ferguson's final home game at Old Trafford against Swansea City. After a free kick was not cleared, he slotted in from six yards in the first half to put United 1–0 up, in a game they went on to win 2–1. Hernández scored United's last goal of the season and the final goal of the Ferguson era, when he tapped in a cross from close range in a 5–5 draw away at West Bromwich Albion on the final day.

2013–14 season

Hernández scored his first goal of the season under new manager David Moyes on 25 September 2013, netting the only goal of a home win over rivals Liverpool in the third round of the League Cup.[70] On 26 October, with his first league goal of the campaign, he headed the winner as they came from behind to defeat Stoke 3–2 at Old Trafford.[71] Three days later, he recorded a brace – starting with a penalty – in a 4–0 win against Norwich City in the next round of the League Cup.[72] In the tournament's semi-finals, his goal from Adnan Januzaj's cross in the last minute of extra time forced a penalty shootout, which United lost to Sunderland.[73]

Real Madrid (loan)

On 1 September 2014, Hernández signed for Real Madrid on a season-long loan deal, with an option of a purchase at the end of the loan.[74] He underwent a medical and signed the contract that same day. Hernández was handed the number 14 shirt, which was available after the departure of Xabi Alonso.[75]

He made his debut in the Madrid derby on 13 September, replacing Karim Benzema for the final 27 minutes as the team lost 2–1 at home to Atlético Madrid.[76] On 19 September, Hernández came on as a 77th-minute substitute for Gareth Bale and scored his first two goals in an 8–2 away win against Deportivo de La Coruña.[77]

He scored the winning goal on 22 April 2015 in the 1–0 win over Atlético Madrid, which sent Real Madrid into the semi-finals of the Champions League.[78] Four days later, Hernández scored a brace in Madrid's 2–4 away win over Celta de Vigo.[79]

On 26 May, it was announced that Hernández would return to Manchester United following the end of his loan spell after Real Madrid decided not to make the loan move a permanent deal.[80]

Bayer Leverkusen

On 31 August 2015, it was announced Hernández signed a three-year contract with Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen for an undisclosed fee,[81] reportedly £7.3 million.[82] Hernández was handed the number 7 instead of the number 14 jersey he typically wore, which was being used by Admir Mehmedi.

2015–16 season

Hernández made his Bundesliga debut as a 58th-minute substitute in the 1–0 defeat to Darmstadt 98 on 12 September.[83] Four days later he scored his first goal in the Champions League group-stage match against BATE Borisov, scoring the third goal in the 4–1 victory.[84] On 23 September, Hernández scored his first Bundesliga goal in Bayer's 1–0 victory over FSV Mainz, being also named Man of the Match.[85] On 20 October, Hernández bagged his first brace for Leverkusen in their 4–4 draw against Roma in the Champions League.[86]

International career

Mexico U20

Hernández was one of the 21 players called up to the Mexican U-20 national team for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada; he came in as a late substitute in the opening game against Gambia and scored Mexico's 3–0 goal.[87]

Mexico national team

Hernández playing for Mexico

On 30 September 2009, Hernández made his debut for Mexico against Colombia, where he made an assist in a 2–1 loss.[88] On 24 February 2010, Hernández scored two goals against Bolivia and had an assist for Braulio Luna's goal. On 3 March, Hernández scored a header against New Zealand, giving Mexico the lead in a 2–0 victory.[89] On 17 March, Hernández scored his fourth international goal to give Mexico a 2–1 victory over North Korea.[90] On 26 May, he scored a consolation header against the Netherlands in a 2–1 loss.[91] On 30 May, Hernández scored yet again, netting twice in a 5–1 victory over Gambia.[92]

2010 FIFA World Cup

On 11 June, Hernández made his FIFA World Cup debut during the opening game of the 2010 tournament against South Africa in a 1–1 draw, coming on in the 73rd minute to replace Guillermo Franco.[93] On 17 June, Hernández again came off the bench and this time scored his first ever World Cup goal, netting the first in a 2–0 victory over France by springing the offside trap, latching onto a through ball from Rafael Márquez, sidestepping Hugo Lloris and sidefooting into the net.[94][95] By scoring he emulated his grandfather, Tomás Balcázar, who scored against France in the 1954 World Cup.[96] He was elected as man of the match.[97] On 27 June, Hernández made his first start at a World Cup and netted his second goal of the World Cup, by turning Martín Demichelis on the edge of the box before sending a left-foot shot into the roof of the net,[98] in Mexico's 3–1 loss against Argentina in the round of 16.[99] FIFA's statistical analysis showed that Hernández was the quickest player in World Cup 2010, reaching a top speed of 32.15 km/h.[100]

Post World Cup friendlies

Hernández scored another goal in his first match for Mexico since the World Cup, in a friendly against world champions Spain on 11 August 2010. He scored after just 12 minutes of the match, but David Silva equalised for Spain in the last minute of play to claim a 1–1 draw.[101] Hernández scored his and Mexico's first international goal of 2011 as he opened the scoring in a 2–0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina on 9 February.[102] On 26 March, Hernández scored two goals in an international friendly against Paraguay. He first connected with a pass from Pablo Barrera in the sixth minute of the match, before scoring off a low cross in the 29th minute, three minutes after teammate Andrés Guardado had made the score 2–0. He exited to a standing ovation in the 65th minute.[103]

2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup

On 5 June 2011, he scored a hat-trick, the first in his career, in a 5–0 win against El Salvador.[104] On 9 June 2011, he scored two goals, in the 36th and 76th minutes against Cuba.[105] On 18 June 2011, Hernández scored the winner in a 2–1 win over Guatemala to send Mexico to the semi-finals.[106] On 22 June 2011, he helped Mexico reach the Gold Cup Final after a 2–0 win over Honduras in extra-time, where he scored Mexico's second goal in the 99th minute. Hernández was the Gold Cup's top scorer with seven goals and was named the most valuable player of the tournament, in addition to helping his team to a 4–2 victory in the Final against the United States.[4]

2013 FIFA Confederations Cup

Hernández was selected in Mexico's squad for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. On 16 June, he scored from a penalty kick in the team's opening match, a 2–1 defeat to Italy at the Estádio do Maracanã. In the final group match, Hernández scored both goals as El Tri defeated Asian champions Japan 2–1.[107]

2014 FIFA World Cup

Hernández scored five times for Mexico during qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

On 23 June, Hernández scored Mexico's third goal against Croatia in their 3–1 victory at Arena Pernambuco to qualify the team for the round of 16.[108]

2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup

On 1 July 2015, Hernández sustained a broken collar bone during a friendly match against Honduras, ruling him out of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup,[109] which Mexico went on to win.

Style of play

Hernández has been typically described as a "goal-poacher", due to some of his goals being scored from close-range.[110][111] He has also been described by Sir Alex Ferguson as two-footed, very quick, in possession of a good spring, and a natural goalscorer. Ferguson also said Hernández's style reminds him of former United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjær – the so-called "baby-faced assassin" who scored the injury time winner against Bayern Munich in United's 1999 Champions League triumph.[112] Hernández's former team-mate Jesús Padilla described him as "amazing in the air" despite his height.[7]

Personal life

Hernández is the son of Javier Hernández Gutiérrez, who played for three different clubs in Mexico and was a member of the Mexico squad at the 1986 FIFA World Cup.[113] Hernández Gutiérrez quit his job as manager of Guadalajara's reserve side in order to watch Hernández play in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.[114] Hernández is also the grandson of Tomás Balcázar, who also played for Guadalajara and played for the national side in the 1954 FIFA World Cup.[115]

On 26 May 2012, Hernández became the Mexican ambassador for UNICEF, making him the third Mexican to serve this position, following César Costa and Julieta Venegas in 2004 and 2009 respectively.[116] As ambassador, he will participate in a number of activities to encourage children and teenagers to not abandon their education.[116] He was commemorated in a news conference, where he said he felt "proud and committed";[117] nonetheless, he refused to answer questions on how he felt for not being able to attend the 2012 Summer Olympics and on his opinion of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification games.[117] His response was that he was "[at the news conference] to talk about UNICEF, not about [his] profession."[117]

On 27 June 2013, EA Sports announced that they had featured Hernández on the North American cover of FIFA 14, alongside global cover star Lionel Messi.[118]


Hernández is commonly known as Chicharito, meaning little pea in Spanish, because his father, Javier Hernández Gutiérrez, was nicknamed Chícharo (pea) because of his green eyes.[119]


Hernández conducting his pre-match prayer before a match against Cardiff City in November 2013

Hernández is a devout Roman Catholic. He is well known for his pre-game ritual where he gets on his knees and prays which he performs before most games.[120][121][122]

Career statistics


Club Season League Cup1 League Cup Continental2 Other3 Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Guadalajara 200607 8 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 9 1
200708 6 0 0 0 4 0 1 0 11 0
200809 22 4 3 0 7 3 0 0 32 7
2009–10 28 21 0 0 0 0 0 0 28 21
Total 64 26 3 0 12 3 1 0 80 29
Manchester United 2010–11 27 13 5 1 3 1 9 4 1 1 45 20
2011–12 28 10 1 0 0 0 7 2 0 0 36 12
2012–13 22 10 6 4 2 1 6 3 36 18
2013–14 24 4 1 1 5 4 5 0 0 0 35 9
2014–15 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
2015–16 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 0
Total 103 37 13 6 11 6 29 9 1 1 157 59
Real Madrid (loan) 2014–15 23 7 2 1 8 1 0 0 33 9
Bayer Leverkusen 2015–16 10 6 1 2 5 4 16 12
Total 10 6 1 2 5 4 16 12
Career total 200 76 19 9 11 6 54 17 2 1 286 109

Statistics correct as of matches played 24 November 2015[123][124][125][126][127]

1Includes the InterLiga, FA Cup and DFB-Pokal. 2Includes the Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, North American SuperLiga, UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League. 3Includes other competitive competitions, including the Primera División playoffs, FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.


Statistics correct as of matches played 17 November 2015[128]

Mexico national team
Year Apps Goals
2009 1 0
2010 19 11
2011 13 12
2012 10 5
2013 14 7
2014 13 3
2015 7 4
Total 77 42

International goals

Scores and results list Mexico's goal tally first.[129]



Manchester United
Real Madrid






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External links