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¿Quo Vadis, Chicharito?

LOS ANGELES – The ‘Chaplin del Gol’ raised the curtain again. He turned on the searchlights. He returned to the scene, in his style. This Sunday, Javier Hernández scored a treble. A bulky #HatTrick.

Two MLS games, five goals and six points for the Galaxy. The great disappointment of 2020 is being the great revelation of 2021.

Chicharito stars in his own Divine Comedy: From Hell to Paradise. A hell that he created and procreated. A paradise that he himself intends to create and procreate.

Javier Hernández was a broken, splintered, wounded and hurtful man. He licked his wounds without knowing that it infected them further. One day, something or someone, or something and someone, pummeled him with fearful truths, those that he refused to accept.

On November 9, 2020, an act of faith, hope and self-charity occurred. He took off the arrogant mask of innocent, pure, naive, when the environment crucified him with the loyalty of invoking all his disloyalty as a soccer player and as a human being.

However, there was no reason to believe him. Javier Hernández had starred, to the point of absolute impudence, acts of penance and contrition. And it had been only saliva, that spurious drool of one who swears irredeemably.

That November 9, Chicharito published on his Instagram account, what was really a prayer, a confession and a complaint.

“The largest institution in MLS cannot afford not to make the playoffs. The evaluation of this season is completely negative starting from self-criticism and knowing that I did not go through my best football moment. Now it’s time to rest for a few days and then start giving everything so that the Galaxy returns to the place where it deserves to be ”, he wrote, thus, without any comma, but each letter, each word, each sentence, had a powerful weight.

However, I insist, there was no reason to believe him. So many times had he extracted phrases from the hollow belly of Chinese cookies, that the truth Javier Hernández bored, cloying and generated distrust. Who often says repentant has little desire to redeem himself.

Furthermore, his surroundings had become more critical. His wife Sara Kohan had taken their children and left. She also wanted to rebuild. He confirmed it with testimonials on Instagram of his stay in England and Australia.

Chicharito had more empty hands than ever. That void of absolute failure. He had had everything and he had lost everything. Absolute begging. Absolute destitution.

He was a broken man. Absolutely. But, as at the bottom of all Pandora’s Box, there is always the last and powerful weapon of fervor: hope.

Late in November, the ‘Chaplin del Gol’ began to take life seriously. Instagram became the daily confession, the daily plea for a little faith, trust, patience and tolerance.

Climbing slopes and climbing cliffs. And into the gym to strengthen and deoxidize muscles that his gentrified life had atrophied. Sweating, snorting, aching. The retired athlete was trying to reconfigure himself.

He even received guidance to perfect the dynamics and motor skills of his body in soccer skills. No one had ever taught him how to hit the ball. The ‘Chaplin del Gol’ had managed. Every part of his body was in cahoots with a histrionic way of scoring. Now he was turning to the exact science of his anatomy.


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A nutritionist has provided him with balanced, daily meals to energize him, to strengthen him, and to reduce his body fat. The Galaxy scale was flustered. Hernández reported to preseason with six kilos less, according to his relatives.

There was no question. The lean face, more powerful legs, the fitted T-shirt. It had dropped a few seconds in the speed tests. Most important: his suddenness, his explosiveness, had returned.

It was true. That November 9, 2020, his act of contrition had finally been genuine. It only remained to confirm that all the magnificent framework to reinvent himself would be effective on the field, that perfecting himself as an athlete allowed him to perfect himself as a footballer.

The first test came against Inter in Miami. Made two. His first goal was a confirmation that he was a better footballer: he receives, controls, guides and defines, with the biting and trampled mark of a rival. The second, in his style, going for a ball that everyone had abandoned.

One more revelation that day. Under intense heat, he kept his thrust and breathing under control. He had the pang of a sprinter and the consistency of a marathoner.

The second test was against Red Bulls. Made three. The first, a ball that seemed unattainable, the kind that would never have reached in 2020 and would never have even tried to go for them.

The second was a manifestation of the redeemed attacker. Set the area of ​​the pass, receive, control and stab with an unusual certainty. Balls like that, in the last two years, had ended up with ridiculous screws in the stands.

The third to Red Bulls came again with the style of the mountebank. A facsimile of half scissors, a little sprawled, but, again, demonstrating her athletic power, with a perfect punch. Yes, in 2019 and 2020, trying that action would have led to the epic of ridicule.

Be careful: he leaves the game with cramps in both legs at minute 78, as a result of his intense and constant runs. Ironically, his lungs seemed whole, but his legs demanded rest. The game ends, and he gets back on the court. He hugs or at least greets his teammates, his rivals, and the refereeing body.

As a corollary of the story, Javier Hernández’s most powerful arsenal is ratified: his mentality, his temperament, his anger, his fury, to reinvent himself.

This time, finally, so it seems, he has changed seasons. From “let’s imagine chingonas things” has gone on to consummate them. At least in two games, it seems so.

Beware: it is just the beginning of a steep slope. It is just the skirt of the mountain.

Javier Hernández will need constancy, consistency, humility, solidarity, loyalty, courage, but above all memory, a lot of memory, so as not to allow the great storms that eroded his life, that took it from him, and left him in ruins, like a broken man , hurt and hurtful, don’t ever let them bait on you again.

He wants to return to the Mexican National Team. Chicharito is terrified that Gerardo Martino wants to hand over the shirt that he feels belongs to him, to Rogelio Funes Mori, who has scored nine goals in 16 games. Javier has five annotations in two games, it is true at the puerile level of MLS, but in the end that same Conkakafkian level is what he will find in the Nations League, in the Gold Cup, and in the World Cup qualifiers.

We said that one day in November, something or someone, or something and someone, beat him with fearful truths, with terrible claims.

Perhaps, that day, that moment, that moment, in that epiphany, the man he had most revered returned to his life and who promised him that he would never abandon him: his grandfather Tomás Balcázar, who understood that he still had a pending task in life. land, help Javier Hernández rescue Chicharito without losing that histrionic essence of ‘Chaplin del Gol’.

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