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Is Chicharito Destined To Be Greater Than Hugol?

It’s hard to be a Millennial in the world of Mexican soccer nowadays. Being a Mexican soccer fan in the 80s meant that you swelled with pride knowing that one of your compatriots was plying his trade on one of the best teams in the world…and that he was actually in the starting 11 consistently.  It’s a different story for those fans hoping that Mexican soccer could be lit up again by a player in Hugo Sanchez’s caliber. The man known as “Hugol” left a legacy few players have ever achieved – or, perhaps more accurately, overcome at Los Blancos. The current Mexican representative, Javier Hernandez or “Chicharito,” is sure not to be the next “Pentapichichi.” 

Hugo Sanchez and Javier Hernandez do share various similarities, though. Hugo Sanchez began his professional soccer career at Pumas UNAM (one of the most well-known and celebrated Mexican professional football teams). He played with “Los Pumas” from 1976 – 1981. “Chicharito,” meanwhile, made himself known at rival Chivas, playing from 2006 – 2010 before making his Summer 2010 move to Manchester United. Chicharito now finds himself at Real Madrid, after having played for Manchester United in the Theater Of Dreams for 4 years. Hugo Sanchez on the other hand did the unspeakable before playing for Real Madrid; he played for crosstown rivals Atletico Madrid. Eventually though, after 3 years of playing with Atletico, his exploits for the club made him well known, and he began his legendary career at the Spanish capital. 

Hugo Sanchez had a legendary career at Real Madrid, but Chicharito’s has hardly started. He has played 8 games so far this season, scoring 3 goals. The likelihood of seeing him play more often is not high, especially with Jese’s return from injury and Cristiano Ronaldo preferring Benzema as his 

partner in attack. In comparison, Hugo was consistently clinical in the Real shirt. In 282 official matches, he scored 208 goals. 

It’s difficult to compare the two’s club careers. Chicharito strives for success at big clubs, and that has hindered his development and stock. And even though they were both forwards, they both have very different playing styles. Chicharito is incredibly fast and tricky, but even though he is known for scoring with any part of his body, Hernandez doesn’t compare to the finishes his fellow countryman would pull out of his hat. Hugo was known for his incredible finishes. 

Case in point, his “Chilenas” (bicycle kicks) became well known throughout the world: 

As you can see, Chilenas are not for the faint of heart. The timing of the jump must be perfect, the angle must be unique and the distance from goal must be fitting for the “Chilena” to be successful.  

Bottom line, if you compare club careers, Chicharito’s light barely shimmers in comparison to Hugo’s. 

However, when it comes to the Mexican National Team, it’s a different story. Hugo Sanchez played 58 matches for the Mexican National Team, scoring 29 goals in the process. He featured in 3 FIFA World Cups, but at just 26, Chicharito has already played more games and scored more goals than Sanchez. And Chicharito still has many years to continue building his legacy with the National Team.

Just to give readers an idea of how successful Chicharito has been with the Mexican National Team: Chicharito boasts 70 caps and 38 goals, making him El Tri’s 3rd top scorer in history. He is just 8 goals shy of Jared Borgettis all-time scoring record of 46 goals. He has featured in 2 World Cups and if his club situation betters, he is likely to be a huge asset to Miguel Herrera’s offensive options at the 2018 World Cup. It makes you wonder how successful Chicharito would be if he was at a club that played him regularly and valued him for the quick footed, out-and-out striker that he is.  

As a Mexican National Team fan, I hope Chicharito finds his place at the Club level, and that he manages to develop into the star that his fans believe he is and want him to be. Even though he wanted to follow in the footsteps of Hugo Sanchez, Real Madrid is not the place for him to even try to leave a legacy such as Hugol’s. Even though Hugo himself praised Chicharito for his move to Real and shared his belief that he would succeed at the Club, Hugo may have been wrong. 

If you liked this, you might also like…

Marco Fabian’s Golazo Is Exactly What Chivas Needed 

Chicharito Believes Again. And You Should Too. 

Miguel Herrera Confident Mexico Will Win The Copa America And Gold Cup 

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