Chicharito says time was right for MLS move with LA Galaxy, stokes rivalry with Vela's LAFC

Javier Chicharito Hernandez Sevilla 2019-20
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Mexico's record goalscorer has left Sevilla and Europe for Los Angeles, where he is set to come up against his international team-mate

Javier Hernandez says the time is right for him to make the move to MLS, after completing his transfer from La Liga side Sevilla to LA Galaxy.

Hernandez, now 31, has left Europe for the first time since joining Manchester United from Chivas in 2010.

In between, he has represented Real Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and West Ham – but, at the Hammers and in Seville, he struggled for first-team minutes.

A marquee signing in MLS, Mexico’s all-time top goalscorer doesn’t see it as a ‘retirement league’. Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Hernandez described his arrival with an apt simile.

“Like when people describe me playing,” Hernandez said. “You know, that he’s always in the right place at the right time.

“The last two years, the managers decided on giving confidence to other players rather than me.

“And now, the LA Galaxy, the manager of the club and the league, are telling me, ‘Look, Javier, we want to give you all the trust, all the confidence to help us,’ and that’s why I’m taking this opportunity.

“I’m going to be able to play in front of a lot of Mexican fans, Galaxy fans, American fans,” he said. “That’s what’s great about football. They give you a lot of opportunities.”

Hernandez will link up with Mexico team-mate Jonathan dos Santos at the Galaxy, and will face off against Carlos Vela of LAFC in the growing Los Angeles rivalry.

With his own international appearances becoming more few and far between in recent years, the 109-cap forward might be expected to have the 2022 World Cup at the back of his mind.

Javier Hernandez Mexico Paraguay 2019

However, Hernandez says this isn’t the case.

“Right now, my mind is completely on the LA Galaxy,” he said.

“I’m going to be playing. That’s what I want in my life.

“People are going to say it was because I couldn’t make it [in Europe], but sometimes in football there are things that are not in your hands.

“Jonathan told me the league is very underrated. I really believe you don’t go there to retire.”

With the next instalment of the LA derby pencilled in for mid-May, fans will have to wait to see Hernandez and Vela go head-to-head in 'El Trafico'.

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Vela has already laid down the gauntlet, recently joking that however many goals Hernandez was planning on scoring, he would score one more.

“It doesn’t matter if he scores or doesn’t score,” Hernandez replied.

“LA Galaxy is the biggest [club] and will win more championships than them, definitely.”