Javier Hernandez, who is regularly linked with a move away from the club, has reflected on how special it was to sign for Manchester United in 2010.
“It was more than emotion when I found out Manchester United wanted to sign me,” he told the official site. “What football means in my country, to make that jump from a team from Mexico to one of the biggest clubs in the world just doesn’t happen in Mexico. The biggest player was perhaps Hugo Sanchez, but he went to Atletico Madrid before he transferred to Real Madrid, and Rafa Marquez went to AS Monaco before he joined Barcelona. But a player making that big jump straight to one of the big clubs doesn’t happen. It was difficult to believe. I say this honestly, but the only time I truly realised I was a United player was when I came to do the presentation with the media at Old Trafford.”
Before signing for United, Chicharito had spoken to Sir Alex Ferguson on the phone but it still didn’t sink in that he was going to become a United player.
“I’d had phone calls with Sir Alex Ferguson and negotiations had taken place but I was just moving from moment to moment and I didn’t realise the magnitude of it all,” he continued. “I couldn’t take it all in. I joined up with the national team and played some games for Mexico and I think that helped at that time because I didn’t feel the expectation of such a big move – I couldn’t, because I couldn’t believe it.”
It wasn’t until his presentation at Old Trafford that Hernandez really felt like a United player.
“I remember at the presentation at Old Trafford I was just smiling,” he added. “I was immensely proud to sign for Manchester United because I had suffered a lot to be here. I took satisfaction that I’d showed patience, hard work and it paid off.”
However, Manchester is fairly different to Mexico, so it took him a little while to settle in.
“It took some time to get used to the weather, the food and the type of training, everything that, naturally, was different from what I knew in Mexico,” he said. “But in my head and in my heart I didn’t want that first year to be one where I just settled, I wanted to play for United and prove every year that I can be in the best shape, in the best form and fitness and show what a footballer and a person I can be.”
Hernandez scored 20 goals in 45 appearances during his first season at the club.