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Watch: Incredible Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández welcome on return to Chivas

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández started on the bench against Pumas UNAM but received an ecstatic reception when he came on to make his first appearance for the club since 2010.

Incredible Chicharito welcome on return to Chivas
Luis Fernando Toris

It has taken a little longer than he would have hoped, but Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández has finally completed his much-anticipated Chivas Guadalajara.

The Mexican legend left LA Galaxy at the end of the 2023 MLS season, having missed the second half of the year due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). He announced his decision to sign for Chivas, the club where he began his professional career, on 24 January 2024.

Chicharito was named in the matchday squad for the first time against Pumas UNAM and the 35-year-old was treated to a special welcome on his return to the club.

The Guadalajara-born frontman has enjoyed a storied career, starring for some of the most illustrious teams on the planet. He played for Manchester United for five years before spending a spell on loan at Real Madrid. Now 35 he opted for a return to Chivas to end his professional career and made his first appearance since returning against Pumas on Saturday.

Chicharito makes Chivas comeback appearance

His ACL injury was a serious one and, at his age, Chivas have had to be patient with his recovery. Chivas head coach Fernando Gago admitted last month that the club as proceeding with precaution.

He’s in a very good rehabilitation process, but he still has a way to go,” Gago explained. “Of course, we need him, we need him training, in the squad, as he was today. There are a lot of positive things, not just seeing him play.”

The Chivas support had been forced to wait for the Mexican legend to make his long-awaited second debut for the club. He returned to the matchday squad on Saturday and, with his team 3-1 up in the final minutes, Chicharito was summoned from the substitutes’ bench by Gago. He was greeted with an incredible reception as he jogged onto the field.

Chivas ran out 3-1 winners over Pumas, thanks to goals from Cade Cowell, Antonio Briseno and Victor Guzman. Cowell’s strike was his first in Liga MX action for the club.

They travel to Cruz Azul next weekend for the Clásico Tapatío and Chicharito will be hoping to get some game-time against the old rivals. He may be at the end of his career but Javier Hernández still has time to make new memories with his boyhood club.