Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez believes Mexico should look beyond its next step.
The Mexico soccer team striker is calling on his country to defy experts’ expectations and aim for glory at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Mexico hasn’t advanced past the round of 16 at the last six World Cups, and quarterfinal appearances in 1970 and 1986 represent El Tri’s best showing at the quadrennial tournament. Nevertheless, Chicharito urges Mexico to travel to Russia this summer with the singular goal of winning the World Cup in mind.
“Nobody told me that I couldn’t join the best leagues in the world, win the Premier League twice, reach a Champions League final,” Hernandez told Univision on Thursday, according to ESPN’s Tom Marshall. “No one told Hugo (Sanchez) that he couldn’t go to the best club in the world, Real Madrid, be the ‘Pentapichichi.’ No-one told Rafa (Marquez) that he couldn’t win two Champions Leagues or play in all the World Cups he has.
“We want to be world champions, of course, and that’s why we’re going (to Russia). We don’t want to put limits in any way. A lot of people complain that it’s not realistic and we’re not realists, but the reality is that people who don’t dream and aspire to more and more are maybe the ones that are confused.”
The 2018 World Cup will kick off June 14 and end July 15. Mexico was drawn into Group F, where it will face Germany, Sweden and South Korea.
A trip to the quarterfinals would satisfy many Mexico fans, but Chicharito, El Tri’s all-time leading scorer, is daring to dream about something far greater.