Mexico is one of three World Cup teams without their active all-time leading goalscorer
Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández is El Tri’s all-time leading scorer, but he has not received a call up since September 2019.
The FIFA international break of September is the last opportunity for head coaches to decide which players will be included in the final roster that will participate in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which is set to start on 20 November. Out of the 32-teams that qualified, only three will have the ‘luxury’ to leave out their all-time leading goalscorers.
The Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the United States men’s national teams are the three expected not to call up their all-time goalscorers. While the rest of the 29-teams have included their active top scorers during this last international window prior to making the trip to Qatar in November.
The three players that are expected to miss the upcoming campaign due to their respective manager’s decision are Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández (Mexico), Jozy Altidore (US) and Al-Sahlawi (Saudi Arabia). Each case is different and some are more complex than others. To start, the Saudi Arabian striker has not been called up since playing in the 2018 World Cup with the Asian side and at 35-years-old, he is no longer in peak form.
Jozy Altidore was the leading striker for the United States across all competitions from 2007 to 2019. The 32-year-old striker scored 42 goals and provided 14 assists in 115 appearances with the USMNT, but lost his place after the team failed to qualify to the 2018 World Cup. One year later, Gregg Berhalter was appointed and decided to start working with the younger American generation, which made Altidore retire from international duty.
Chicharito a special case
Last but not least is Javier Hernández, who is in peak form with 17 goals scored with the LA Galaxy so far this season, and is awaiting a call up from Mexico’s head coach Gerardo Martino. Chicharito has not played with the national team since September 2019 and he recently said that ‘it doesn’t depend on him’ when a fan asked him to return to El Tri.
Chicharito is Mexico’s all-time leading scorer with 52 goals in 109 appearances across all competitions, but Martino made it clear that he is a striker not of his liking and closed the door completely on a possible return as long as he is in charge. Mexico’s head coach will call three strikers for the World Cup and his options are: Raúl Jiménez, Rogelio Funes Mori, Santiago Giménez and Henry Martín.