No Olympics for Chicha…
by Luis Eduardo Flores
The Leverkusen star has confirmed it; he will not take part in the Olympics. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will participate in the 2016 Copa America.
It’s always a treat to see Mexico’s golden boy participate in international tournaments; but this decision is questionable.
The 2016 edition of the Copa America is purely ceremonial. By winning the tournament, the team does not qualify for the Confederations Cup. The Olympics are always a full on competition; with a stronger historical significance.
For player like Hernandez, you’d expect him to chase after the bigger prize. With the national team, Hernandez has the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup under his belt. Mexico flopped in the 2013 Confederations Cup and then they were eliminated controversially in the 2014 World Cup. In both of those tournaments, Hernandez did manage to participate and contribute to the games the team won. Then coach Miguel Herrera selected Hernandez as part of the squad that went to play in the Gold Cup instead of the Copa America. Due to an injury, Hernandez was sidelined from the Gold Cup. Mexico did manage to win the Gold Cup, without Hernandez. Hernandez is still credited as a 2015 champion; but let’s be realistic. He didn’t compete, so his credibility as a champion in that tournament is minimal.
Now that Hernandez had the chance to compete for more Olympic gold (and to be considered a World Champion; in some sense) he turned to the Copa America.
There are a few things that Hernandez can do at the Copa America that will still make him shine. For starters, a chance to compete in a tournament that was 100 years in the making speaks volumes; it’s a ‘once in a lifetime’ event. Not even the World Cup has reached the 100 year mark. In addition, Hernandez is on the verge of matching (and then topping) Mexican legend Jared Borgetti’s goal scoring record (46 goals). There is no better way to break a goal scoring record other than in a tournament; just ask Miroslav Klose.
This is not to discredit the Copa America as a competitive tournament; but we know that the 2014 Copa America was the one that really counted. Regardless; there’s more glory for Mexico to achieve in the Olympics, if they make it to the final to defend their title.
There’s a slight chance of “Chicharito” playing the 2020 Olympic Games; as the rules allow 3 “over-age” players to be part of the squad. Even at the age of 32, Hernandez can possibly make it.
For the meantime, let us watch and enjoy Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez as he continues to build his legacy.
Photo: goal.com, referee.mx