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SOCCER

Why aren’t Chicharito Hernández and Carlos Vela part of the Mexican national team?

A lack of goals in the Mexico squad heading into the World Cup led to calls for Chicharito and Carlos Vela to be considered by Gerardo Martino.

Update:
Why aren’t Chicharito Hernández and Carlos Vela part of the Mexican national team?

Mexico manager Gerardo Martino was quick to rule out calling up Chicharito Hernández and Carlos Vela for the 2022 World Cup, despite the solid form displayed by both players in the 2022 MLS season and Hernández’s stated desire to play a part in El Tri’s campaign.

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There were also rumours in the weeks leading up to the competition suggesting the Mexican FA did approach Vela but the response from LAFC striker was negative. But as it turned out, neither player was named and Mexico kicked off their campaign against Poland.

Speaking before the friendly game with Peru in September, Mexico coach Martino stated: “In the case of Carlos Vela, he told me more or less three and a half years ago that he preferred not to be called up to the Mexico national team and that has not changed,” and “in the case of Javier Hernández, I have simply opted for other centre forwards.”

Vela, who won the MLS Cup this season with LAFC, played in the 2010 and 2018 World Cups while Hernández, who plays for LA Galaxy, featured in the 2010, 2014 and 2018 World Cups, and is also Mexico’s all-time top scorer with 52 goals in 109 caps.

Vela and Chicharito have not played for Mexico in years

However, Vela elected not to be considered for Mexico duty for three years between 2011 and 2014, including the 2014 World Cup, and last played for El Tri at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. In 2020, Vela said that he was no longer available for selection for the Mexico national team.

Hernández last made an appearance for Mexico in 2019 and has not been called up since.

Their respective performances with their clubs in MLS this season led to calls for both players to be considered for selection, especially given the injury situation that has complicated first choice No.9 Raul Jimenez, who did make the squad in the end.

Martino confirmed his 26-man-squad on the final day FIFA allowed, just a week before the opening day, and now all thoughts are on going further than they have ever done before.