It’s a new start for Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who officially signed a three-year contract with the LA Galaxy on Tuesday. He’s leaving Sevilla for more playing time and to be closer to his family in Mexico, but he has complicated feelings about it.
A camera was there when Chicharito called his parents to tell him about his move to Los Angeles, and he was emotional as he bared his feelings about the start of a new phase in his career.
😭 Duele mucho verlo y escucharlo así 🔊
Chicharito reconoció entre lágrimas con su familia que NO quería irse de Europa y que sólo buscaba "jugar" en el Sevilla porque se creía aún capaz 😕
🗣 "Se acabó, es el principio del retiro" pic.twitter.com/bvHloKZTiV
— Goal México (@goalmex) January 23, 2020
One of the key phrases Chicharito used during the call with his parents was “it’s like the beginning of my retirement.” Major League Soccer has been trying to fight that perception for years, but that doesn’t make it any less true or real to Chicharito, who is obviously trying to come to terms with not just his present, but his future, which isn’t as distant as it once was.
“We are retiring from the European Dream... and it’s hard, and my dad will understand, and I’m just living it because I’m happy, it’s what I want. It’s not that I couldn’t do it, it’s just saying goodbye to this beautiful experience, and it’s a part of me that’s no longer gonna be there... And also, this is another dream. It’s different of course.”
Through Chicharito’s tears — both happy and sad — his mother knew just what to say to him.
“Look, I always tell you, God has our path and sometimes we’re hesitant to move or change. And I think right now, this is what’s better for you, for your family, for Noah, for everyone, but I know it’s not easy at all.”
It’s rare for any athlete to allow fans to see them be this raw and honest about their career. Athletes like Chicharito don’t often admit weakness, ambivalence, doubt, or sadness to the public, but those are the emotions we feel when we end one phase of our lives and start another. Chicharito is letting his fans see the real him (complicated emotions and all), and it’s brave.
Chicharito seemed much happier on Thursday when he was welcomed to Los Angeles by his new team and hordes of thrilled fans.
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