Gerardo “Tata” Martino, head coach of Mexico, confirmed that Chicharito has no place in the national team for the 2022 World Cup campaign in Qatar in November. Despite his impressive performances since early 2022, the 34-year-old striker is almost certain There will certainly not be a 4th World Cup in his career.
Chicharito and Carlos Vela, two of the most experienced strikers in the Mexican team, were both excluded from the squad by coach Martino for two friendlies against Peru (September 25) and Colombia (September 28). “In Chicharito’s case, I simply wanted to use other strikers to replace,” coach Martino told ESPN, “As for Vela, he told me three years ago that he did not want to be called up. For now, that decision has not changed. The coaching staff are trying to find the 26 players who best fit the team’s philosophy.”
Raul Jimenez, Rogelio Funes Mori, Henry Martin and Santiago Gimenez are the options for strikers in the Mexican team at the 2022 World Cup. According to Mr. Martino, only 3 names in this group can go to Qatar. Of these, Raul Jimenez is the number one hope. The striker made his international debut in 2013, scoring 30 goals and playing for Wolves in the Premier League.
Coach Martino took over the job with the Mexican team in January 2019. He made the brave decision to exclude Chicharito from the World Cup squad. LA Galaxy’s striker was absent from the entire 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign in Mexico’s North Central America region. The last time Chicharito played for the national team was in September 2019 against the US team.
He is the greatest goalscorer in the history of Mexico with 52 goals in 109 appearances. In addition to his established reputation, Chicharito’s experience is still useful for the fierce matches at the World Cup.
ESPN believes that Martino’s list of strikers to replace Chicharito in Mexico’s attack is problematic. Jimenez and Funes Mori are both injured and difficult to play in the upcoming friendlies against Peru and Colombia. Even in good health, this group cannot compare to Chicharito.
With his own number one hope, Jimenez, after suffering a serious injury that led to a skull fracture in 2020, he fell into decline. In the 2019/20 season, when Jimenez was healthy, the striker scored 27 goals in 55 matches in all competitions. In the two seasons of 2020/21 and 2021/22, Jimenez only had a total of 10 goals after 47 matches. In the 2022/23 season, this striker has only scored one goal for Wolves.
With Raul Jimenez kicking in the 2022 North Central American World Cup qualifiers, Mexico played poorly. “El Tri” finished qualifying with 17 goals in 14 matches, only equal to the team ranked 5th in Panama. Martino’s army scored fewer goals than Canada (23 goals) and the US (21 goals). No Mexican striker has scored more than four goals in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
ESPN believes that was a consequence of Chicharito’s absence. The attack power of “El Tri” is clearly reduced. The possibility of this team surpassing the group with the presence of Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Poland is also a big question mark.
Chicharito is not out of time
While Martino still says no, Chicharito’s form seems to say yes.
After 32 games for LA Galaxy in 2022, the former MU striker scored 16 goals. This achievement can be extended when the American Professional Championship (MLS) has not yet ended. This is one of Chicharito’s standout seasons in his career. Since 2013, only 3 times Chicharito has scored more than 15 goals in a season (seasons 2012/13, 2015/16 and 2021/22). The Mexican striker entered the top 10 in the MLS Top Scorer race with 15 goals.
On September 17, Marca commented that Chicharito’s goal against Colorado Rapids could be considered “goal of the year”. The 34-year-old striker made a running situation, turned his heel and hit the opponent’s net.
Then one day, Marca also asked “Is Mexico really strong enough without Chicharito in the 2022 World Cup?”. The Spanish sports newspaper believes that options like Jimenez, Funes Mori or Hirving Lozano are difficult to replace the role of Chicharito, who has 13 years with the national team.
“His running style is impressive. The way Chicharito turns shots into goals looks pretty easy,” LA Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said in April.
Last month, El Futbolero revealed that Chicharito had shared his desire to return to serve Mexico in the World Cup. However, after the conversation between this striker and coach Martino, things did not make much progress.
The consistency of coach Martino made him receive many criticisms from Mexican public opinion. And if Chicharito continues to play as well as he is now, maybe the door to Qatar is still not closed for him?
Duy Luan – Zing.vn | 15:05 September 23, 2022