Mexico striker Hernandez hopes to repeat history

Javier Hernandez’s family has a long soccer tradition, and the

Mexico striker will try to repeat history by scoring in a World Cup

like his grandfather did in 1954.

Hernandez is 22, the same age as his granddad, Tomas Balcazar,

when he played in the tournament 56 years ago. He scored in a

Mexico 3-2 loss to France

“This is the fruit of all the hard work he has done since he

began playing at 8 years old,” Balcazar said before the World Cup.

“He has always been a dedicated boy. Whatever he has achieved he

has done through his own efforts. We just give him advice so his

head doesn’t get too big.”

Mexico fans, meanwhile, hope Hernandez can mirror his dream

start with Chivas last season when he scored eight goals in his

first five games. He ended up the season as the league’s top goal

scorer and will join Manchester United after the World Cup.

Hernandez was overlooked as a starter in the tournament’s

opening match Friday against South Africa in favor of Guillermo

Franco, but came on as a late substitute. He played aggressively,

but didn’t have any clear opportunities to score and finished with

one off-target shot.

If coach Javier Aguirre selects him, he will get his next chance

when Mexico takes on France in their Group A match Thursday in


Hernandez is nicknamed “Chicharito” – which means “little

sweet pea” – because of his father, who is also named Javier

Hernandez. His father was on Mexico’s World Cup team in 1986, but

did not play, and was known as “Chicharo,” or “sweet pea.”

Hernandez scored seven goals in 12 friendlies before the World