In 2005, a very young Javier Hernández didn’t make the cut in the final roster for the U-17 World Cup that would be played in Perú.
Coach Jesús Ramírez had established his attacking men: Giovani dos Santos, from Barcelona’s Junior team y and an unknown talent, Carlos Vela, who belonged to Chivas.
In case it was needed and as a luxury sub, Ever Guzmán, who came from the junior team of Monarcas Morelia.
With this context, the son of Chícharo and grandson of legend Tomás Balcázar, could not make the team that eventually win the tournament to be World U-17 Champions.
Disappointed with the lack of opportunities, Chicharito even thought of leaving football; however, even at that short age he began showing one of his most important qualities: persistence.
On the other hand, Vela, born in Cancún, shone in the World Cup where he secured the Top Scorer trophy. As soon as Mexico won the tournament, he had several offers to play in Europe.
Carlitos, the kid that always had a smile on chose England’s Arsenal and broke every bond with Guadalajara and traveled to his European destiny.
Because of age restrictions he could not debut with the ‘Gunners’ straight away, and so he started and adventure in different teams of both Second and First Division in Spain and England, until he eventually returned to Arsenal where he never earnt the trust of the coach, Arsene Wenger.
It was until the 2011-12 season when Vela finally arrived at the place where he consolidated his career: Real Sociedad.
He settled, and after six and half seasons where he played 250 games and scored over 70 goals, which made him the second-best Mexican striker in La Liga just below Hugo Sánchez.
He announced his anticipated retirement from Europe by moving to MLS with 28 years.
Carlos did not arrive to LA as a tourist, as soon as he became the franchise player of the newest team in the league LAFC, he committed and in two seasons he hasn’t stopped the powerful demonstrations with huge talent. He has helped to create the identity and has set new records. Today Vela is MLS’s Messi.
Javier Hernández’s took a similar road like his colleague, in 2010 he arrived at England to play for Manchester United.
Unlike the “Bombardero”, Chicharito was a grown-up football player, scoring champion in Mexico and part of the National team. His impact in the Red Devils, contrary to popular belief was immediate.
United, Real Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, West ham and Sevilla, were the teams where Hernández showed his skills over a decade in Europe.
He played 344 official matches where he scored 127 goals in three of the world’s most powerful leagues: England, Spain and Germany.
Los Angeles Galaxy is the next destination for the 31-year-old, where he will meet with that old teammate he met in Chivas.
Beyond personal opinions, these are two of the most important players of the decade; one made history by means of his goals, the other one is relevant thanks to his magic.
It’s the reunion of talent y persistence…