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Why is Chicharito, Mexico’s all-time leading scorer, not playing for El Tri in the 2022 World Cup?


When Mexico announced its preliminary roster for the 2022 World Cup in October, there was one notable omission, which came as no surprise. Mexico’s all-time leading goal scorer, Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, would not be on the flight to Qatar. And it had nothing to do with soccer at all.

Don’t bother trying to make sense of it.

Hernández has been one of the most consistent players in Major League Soccer at doing what he does best: scoring goals. His first season in 2020 was a rocky one as he dealt with personal issues that had an impact on his performance. He rebounded and scored 17 goals the following season, falling just two short of the Golden Boot winner, despite missing a significant amount of time due to injury.

This season, he scored 18 goals and led the LA Galaxy to their best Western Conference finish since 2016.

Playing in L.A. also reminds Chicharito of how much the Mexicans adore him. Even rival LAFC supporters support the club.

Playing in L.A. also reminds Chicharito of how much the Mexicans adore him. Even rival LAFC fans put their club loyalty aside in order to get a picture or autograph. His place as a Mexican legend is indelible.

However, if you ask disgruntled head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino about Hernández, he will tell you that he has simply decided to use other strikers.

Rogelio Funes Mori, Alexis Vega, Henry Martin, and Jes Corona are among the players he prefers. Corona, on the other hand, is still out after breaking his fibula over the summer, as is Raul Jimenez. Martino waited until the last minute for Corona’s injuries to heal before deciding whether or not he would travel to Qatar with the team, but he ultimately left him off the roster. Jimenez did participate in the tournament but did not play in El Tri’s opening game against Poland on Tuesday.

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