• All you need to know about Leverkusen's 'little pea'.
  • 'Chicharito' has had spells at Manchester United FC and Real Madrid CF.
  • One of the biggest names in Mexican football.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen pulled off one of the biggest transfer coups of summer 2015 by signing Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez from Manchester United FC. has the lowdown on one of Mexico's most famous exports...

Specials: click here for all you need to know about Chicharito

'El Chicharito'

Hernandez is better known as 'El Chicharito', which means 'the little pea'. It is a diminutive form of the nickname given to his father Javier Hernandez Gutierrez, who was known as 'El Chicharo' (the pea) in reference to his green eyes. Hernandez junior joined Chivas Guadalajara at the age of just nine, although at the time he played as full-back. "One of my coaches told me that I should move into attack instead," he revealed.

Cchicharito (pictured, r.) scored 26 goals in 64 games for first club Chivas.

Patient and persistent

It was a while before Hernandez's career really took off. He featured only fleetingly for Chivas after joining their first team in 2006 and doubts were raised about his future. Only his patience and persistence helped him make the breakthrough, according to his father.

Watch: Chicharito and Marco Fabian share exclusive Skype chat


Once he was signed by United, the nimble forward knew he was going to have to muscle up to make the grade in England. "Even though I don't like it, I know that I have to work hard because the English league is much quicker and more physical," he said.

The Mexico striker won two English Premier League titles in five years at Manchester United.


Chicharito is also a cartoon character back in Mexico, in a series named Mucha Lucha. The cartoon series also included Borussia Dortmund's Shinji Kagawa and several other stars of world football, past and present. He's a big cartoon fan too: "I can't miss anything on TV," he told Futbol Total, adding that he prefers superheroes like Superman.

Read: Chicharito's best moments on social media


Speedy Gonzalez is one of Mexico's most famous cartoon characters, but Hernandez is not far behind him, at least not according to an investigation by English newspaper Daily Mail into the fastest players at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He was clocked as the tournament's fastest player at 19.97 mph, ahead of FC Bayern's turbo-charged winger Arjen Robben.

Chicharito has scored 43 goals for Mexico, three less than the country's leading scorer, Jared Borgetti.

Football in the family

Football is in Hernandez's blood. His grandfather scored against France in the 1954 World Cup, a feat Hernandez emulated in the 2010 edition by netting against Les Bleus. It was Mexico's 50th goal in a World Cup, coming ten days ahead of the 56th anniversary of his grandfather's strike. His father also featured in a World Cup – on home soil in 1986.

Exclusive: Chicharito discusses following in family footsteps

Mexican trailblazer

Hernandez became the first Mexican player to appear in a UEFA Champions League final in his debut season for Manchester United. He did not finish on the winning side, however, although he did contribute four goals to the Red Devils' progress in the competition.

Chicharito conluded his Manchester United career with 37 goals from 103 games, 54 of which were substitute appearances.

Driving force

Moving to the European mainland has one particularly good side for Hernandez - driving on the right. "I felt like my whole world had fallen apart," Hernandez said when he discovered that people drive on the left with the steering wheel on the right in the British Isles.

Chicharito Day

Remember the date: 14 August is Chicharito Day, according to a group of followers on social media. A Facebook page "Las Chicaritas 14" - the number 14 for his shirt number, and August for being the only month of the year with the same number of letters as his first name.

Extra-curricular activities

Hernandez is a UNICEF ambassador and was also one of the six characters used by Turkish Airlines in one of their advertising campaigns. His portrait for that project, drawn by Craig Redman, sold for £520 in a charity auction.

Gallery: the Bundesliga's top goalscorers in 2015/16