Mexican fútbol superstar Javier (Chicharito) Hernández made it official. The 31-year-old will move to Los Angeles and join the L.A. Galaxy – a 24-year-old team with an all but lacking track record. His three-year contract now makes him the highest-paid player in Major League Soccer.
Chicharito’s base salary is $6 million a year, with unlisted incentives that are no doubt enviable, according to Sports Illustrated. He comes from La Liga Sevilla and will replace 38-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Galaxy reportedly paid Sevilla a whopping $9.4 million transfer fee.
L.A. Galaxy formally announced the news, also known as LA’s worst-kept secret, after the Los Angeles Times published its interview with the Guadalajara-born striker. Eugenio Derbez narrated a sunlit video beaconing in a new season for Hernández and the city of Los Angeles.
The video highlights Chicano and Latinx communities in L.A. and celebrates the city’s “eternal love of chasing dreams.”
Chicharito began playing soccer professionally in 2006 and has played for the likes of Real Madrid (Spain), Manchester United (UK) and Bayer Leverkusen (Germany).
In terms of the risk that comes with the move, in terms of legacy, Chicharito told the LAT, “The last two years, the managers decided on giving confidence to other players rather than me. And now, the L.A. 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 added. “That’s what’s great about football.
Although he is part of Mexico’s national team, Hernández only played three games for Mexico in 2019. Some fans are hopeful that this will bring Chicharito one step closer to playing for Mexico, and in a way it already is.
“He’s a dreamer, igual que nosotros,” Eugenio Derbez said. “He does impossible things… es de los nuestros. He’s one of us.”