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Javier Hernandez goes from ‘Super Sub’ to superstar

Hernandez celebrates scoring yet another goal for Bayer Leverkusen. Photo courtesy: Goal.com
Chicarito celebrates scoring yet another goal for Bayer Leverkusen. Photo courtesy: Goal.com
Chicarito celebrates scoring yet another goal for Bayer Leverkusen. Photo courtesy: Goal.com

Javier Hernandez, better known as “Chicarito”, says his tag as a ‘super sub’ was the real reason behind less-than-successful stint at Manchester United, and that all he needed was a decent run in the first team – the kind that is reaping him rich rewards in the Bundesliga this season.

The Mexican star spent five years at Manchester United and rarely made starts, almost always coming off the bench. But at the German club, he has since been given an almost permanent spot and the results are showing: Chicarito has scored 19 goals in all competitions – only three players have netted more in the Bundesliga.

Watch Chicarito’s goals for Leverkusen:

“What I was missing in the last two or three years, it was like I was playing sometimes and then returning to the bench,” Chicarito told Orlando Sentinel.

“But now that I am playing most of the game or almost all of my games here in my club, that’s what I need.

“Because people sometimes think the confidence is with goals, but I don’t think like that. I think confidence is to play day-by-day, to get rhythm.”

“United did not know Hernandez was a good player”

Meanwhile, Leverkusen CEO Michael Schade found it amusing that Manchester United thought his star striker was not good enough for Old Trafford.

“Mr Van Gaal did not know that [Chicharito] is a good player,” Schade told Goal USA.

“That’s what I read in the English newspapers. They are criticising his former coach, Louis van Gaal, very much because he didn’t recognise what kind of talent this was.

“To be honest, Manchester would need a striker like him for the time being, but we’re happy to have him.

“I think it was a big surprise for many football fans all over the word that he decided to go to Leverkusen, because he’s played at (Real) Madrid and Manchester (United). We are a top team, a European top team, but not belonging to the first five. Nevertheless, we were convinced that he could help us to fulfil our objectives and that’s what he did.

“He’s scored nearly every game. He’s very successful and very popular, so we have the ideal combination between success on the pitch and also success in merchandising and marketing activities, because he’s so well known and so popular in Latin America, and here in North America.”

Chicarito’s form has expectedly generated interest from other clubs, who want to sign the striker. But Leverkusen are not interested in parting ways with their golden goose just yet.

“I always get some offers concerning our players,” Schade said. “I always say that one day, when I don’t get phone calls I’ll think about the quality of our team. If international top teams like Manchester, Barcelona or Munich are interested in our players, our managers, our coaches, then we are on a high level of quality. If we don’t get those calls, then we’re not at that level.”

Is he even considering selling his superstar striker?

“Absolutely not.”

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