NEW YORK — Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United had been touring the United States without one of the team’s main attractions, golden boy Javier “Chicharito” Hernández.
After an English Premier-winning season and a runners-up finish in the Champions League with the Red Devils and a Gold Cup victory with Mexico over the summer, Chicharito was in need of a little rest and relaxation.
With his battery fully charged again, the 23-year-old striker has rejoined his team for the final three matches of their official US tour — against the MLS All-Stars on Wednesday and the highly anticipated rematch against Barcelona on July 30.
“I’m happy to be back and be able to play with my team again,” Chicharito said on Monday during a press conference. “I had watched [Manchester United’s] games on TV and I felt weird not being there. Now I’m here, I’m happy, and I’m very motivated to work day-in and day-out to keep improving and keep learning.”
Much has changed for the Mexican international, who first donned Man. United’s red jersey against the MLS All-Stars a year ago. He went from promising talent to international star and from substitute to undisputed starter thanks to a 20-goal haul in all competitions for the club.
Still, Chicharito remains as humble as ever.
“I’m still the same,” said Chicharito. “For me, there’s no difference because I feel just like I did when I first came [to Manchester United]. The only thing on my mind is to work hard every day. This is a dream come true for me, and the only thing I want to do is to get better.”
Despite having three preseason matches and a Community Shield showdown against crosstown rivals Manchester City left before the start of the EPL season, Chicharito is already intently focused on the Red Devils’ title defense and additional hardware.
“My goal is to keep working and keep learning to repay this extraordinary institution,” said Chicharito. “I want to improve in every aspect, and I want to keep growing soccer-wise alongside my teammates to help my team with it all.”