Bayer 04 Leverkusen striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez always puts the team first. - © © imago
Bayer 04 Leverkusen striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez always puts the team first. - © © imago

Chicharito exclusive: 'Very good friends with Aranguiz'

Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez says there is no ill feeling between him and Bayer 04 Leverkusen teammate Charles Aranguiz following Mexico's 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Chile in the Copa America Centenario quarter-finals earlier this summer.

The defeat brought an unceremonious end to El Tri's hopes of returning home with Copa gold and simultaneously put Hernandez's quest to become his country's all-time leading goalscorer on hold. Aranguiz's Chile, meanwhile, went on to lift the trophy for the second successive year.

"It was just one game," Hernandez said in an exclusive interview with following the launch of our official Spanish-language Twitter channel. "[Charles and I] are now in Leverkusen […] We’re very good friends, we're professionals. No result needs to change that [relationship] you have outside those games."

The bond shared by the two Latino stars contributed to Leverkusen's late surge up the 2015/16 Bundesliga standings and resultant spot in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Chicharito starred throughout, scoring 17 goals in his debut Bundesliga campaign, but Aranguiz had to wait until Matchday 28 to take his Leverkusen bow following a serious Achilles injury - chipping in with two goals and as many assists all the same.

The personal highs and lows of the foregoing campaign confined to the history books, Hernandez now has his sights trained on the collective objectives of a Leverkusen side with genuine designs on ending a 23-year wait for silverware.

"If I score 100 goals it'll be fine, if I score ten goals it'll be fine - if the team achieve what we want," the 28-year-old striker explained. "The most important thing here is each Bundesliga game, each Champions League game and each Pokal game to try and win it."