Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez is a forward on fire right now. Bayer 04 Leverkusen's star summer signing from Manchester United, by way of Real Madrid, bagged his first Bundesliga brace to set the Werkself on the road to a 3-1 victory at Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend. That took him up to ten in seven games, UEFA Champions League and DFB Cup included. His season total of six is also enough to already make him the top-scoring Mexican player in Bundesliga history.
"That was just excellent. Obviously, he's got the quality to score goals like that," said Bayer sporting director Rudi Völler – who knows a thing or two about hitting the net himself – after the win at Frankfurt. Managing director Michael Schade was no less effusive, declaring; "Javier Hernandez has exceeded all our expectations, and that goes for the Bayer Group as a whole. He's a folk hero in Mexico, the media interest in him there is just incredible."
That applies to media both old and new. With over 5.8 million followers, the man more familiar to many by his nickname Chicharito (Little Pea) is among the 15 most popular footballers on Twitter, with only FC Bayern's Xabi Alonso ahead of him in that department in the Bundesliga. Convinced from the off that Hernandez had the skill-set and team-orientated attitude to fit into his ultra-high-intensity attacking system, Bayer coach Roger Schmidt has every reason to be best satisfied with his new, down-to-earth superstar. "It's a bit out of the ordinary to see him scoring so consistently, so soon. That can only be good for any side," said Schmidt.
His work-rate and team spirit – not to mention his goals – have earned the 27-year-old forward a special place in the collective heart of the Leverkusen fans in double-quick time. In a recent online montage, he features as a 'football god' surrounded by his adoring disciples – Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Ronaldinho. "I know that picture,” grinned Hernandez, "But there a few goals I'd gladly swap for points in the Bundesliga, or the Champions League."