Mexico striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez isn’t looking to limit what El Tri could achieve at this summer’s World Cup and thinks the team should head to Russia with the aim of winning the tournament.
Mexico has exited the past six World Cups at the Round-of-16 stage and a lot of the focus in the country is on whether the team can reach the quarterfinals at Russia 2018. But Hernandez thinks this side has enough quality to break that particular glass ceiling, and more.
“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 said in an interview with Univision.
“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.”
West Ham forward Hernandez is currently in San Jose, California preparing for El Tri‘s game against Iceland on Friday, with Mexico then traveling to Dallas to play Croatia next Tuesday.
Mexico will get a test of where its World Cup ambitions could lie in its opening game against Germany on June 17, although Die Mannschaft coach Joachim Low praised Mexico on Thursday.
“We know Mexico from the Confederations Cup,” said Low in a press conference. “It’s a strong team, with very good players and in recent years it’s been playing at the same level as national teams like Argentina and Chile.”
Hernandez stated that he “can’t guarantee anything” when it comes to his future at West Ham beyond this summer, although the Guadalajara native did point out he has two years left on his contract.
He has also admitted to exploring options to leave West Ham last January in order to get more playing time ahead of the World Cup.
Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.