Despite the relentless, seemingly endless comparisons and the long shadows cast by his male predecessors, it was in the famous red and white stripes of Chivas Guadalajara that Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez announced himself to the world.
“Oh, so many memories,” he tells bundesliga.com when asked if there is one moment in particular which stands out from the four years he played professionally for his boyhood club. “I’ve got so many: I came through the ranks of the club after all; from the fourth team to the reserves to the first team and then I made my debut in the first division.”
‘In the team all the time’
It was 1997 when the nine-year-old Hernandez joined Chivas - one of Mexico’s grandest clubs and perhaps unsurprising given his heritage - although it wasn’t until nine years later in 2006 that he turned professional.
“He doubted himself; he doubted that he was capable of playing in the first division,” his father told The New York Times in 2010 of his son’s early professional years. “As a young player he was impatient. We talked to him about being persistent and in time everything would come."
Perhaps, however, patience was harder for Hernandez Jr., given the extra weight of expectation and pressure on his shoulders as the grandson of the Campeonísimo.