If you watch Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez play soccer you can tell he's enjoying himself. Perhaps not with as much of a smiling face as say Ronaldinho, when he was in his prime playing for Barcelona, but in a similar fashion Chicharito just loves to play the game. And, he loves to score goals even more. I bet if you gathered together a group of players who all loved to just play, always had a smile on their face, you'd have quite a team.
However, beneath this joy is a deadly serious finisher. Hernandez scored 20 goals in his debut season for Manchester United and just scored 7 goals to lead Mexico to the Gold Cup championship and a victory over the United States in the final. And while he didn't score in the final, he hit the post and his darting runs caused the U.S. team all kinds of trouble. The attention he attracts enables his teammates to get open and find more space. While Hernandez is constantly looking to sneak in behind the defender or into that open space, someone else on his team might find an opening as well.
This get us to the key to playing like Javier Hernandez, 'The Little Pea', always look for the chance to score goals and put yourself in position to score. What does this mean? This means following all shots, making decisive runs into the box, and just being on your toes waiting and ready for any half chance.
Here's a run down of the main keys to playing like Chicharito:
Desire and intensity
Play with joy and a smile on your face
Readiness - stay on your toes and always be ready to pounce on the ball
Quick, darting runs in behind a defender to receive a pass or a cross
Can score with his head, either foot or any other part of his body if necessary
Demand the ball, scream for it and ask for it all the time
Play simple when not in or around the goal - lay the ball off
I think the desire and joy are what make Chicharito a special player and enable him to score so many goals. To me, that's what make Chicharito an incredible player: he's tireless and relentless in his desire to score goals whether that's for his club team, Manchester United, or his own country, Mexico.
Top 5 Goals by 'Chicharito'
What's more, Chicharito throws his body at the ball in an effort to get a goal. He doesn't care if he scores with, his heel, his face, his crotch, his neck, or the back of his head. He'll do whatever it takes to get the ball into the back of the net.
Chicharito doesn't just score goals though. He's also a team player. One who helps his team keep position of the ball and build up an attack. If you watch him, he's excellent at checking back to receive the ball and then laying it off so his team can keep possession of the ball. He plays very simple, controlling the ball and laying it if and get back into the attack again.
One thing that people don't realize either, is that Chicharito his very strong. Physically, he can hold off defenders and gain better positioning by using his strength to fight off defenders. And then there's his speed and quickness, if he gets a step then he's able to get a shot off and score.
In the end though, Chicharito is all about scoring goals and that always puts a big smile on his face, and yours too, especially if you're a Manchester United fan or a Mexican team supporter.
To top it all off, if you want to play like Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, then you have to be humble. The young man is becoming a world wide star, yet he's not an attention seeker or one who wants all the praise. He'd rather his team won more than anything.