Mexico forward Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez received a trophy Saturday after becoming his country's all-time leading scorer but will likely value the compliments his coach and teammates poured onto him after the triumph.
Hernandez headed home a free kick from Andres Guardado in the second half to take his Mexico goal total to 47 goals, one more than Jared Borgetti, and become Mexico's top scorer at the age of 28. That prompted coach Juan Carlos Osorio to say the Bayer Leverkusen forward is in elite company.
The record is “something extraordinary for Javier, for his family, teammates, the national team," Osorio said in a news conference after the 2-1 defeat to Croatia. "I think he's among the four best finishers in the world and he could play in any league."
His teammates also feel that Chicharito is a one-of-a-kind player who can serve as an example not just for footballers but for society as a whole.
"I'm very happy for him. I'm really proud to play alongside Javier. He's a great teammate, a great friend," forward Oribe Peralta told reporters after the game. "He puts in the maximum effort to get what he wants and he's an example for all Mexicans."
Defender Miguel Layun posted a congratulatory message to Twitter, reading, "Brother, many congratulations for everything you're going through. You deserve it and so much more."
Chicharito will hope to continue adding to his total and help Mexico improve on Saturday's result when El Tri return to action Thursday in a friendly with Ireland that is the last game before World Cup qualification matches with Honduras and the USA.