JAVIER HERNANDEZ has been ruled out of Mexico’s 2022 World Cup squad.
The decision was made by Mexican boss Tata Martino despite former Manchester United star Chicharito enjoying a fruitful campaign this season for LA Galaxy and his international goal record.
Mexico have fierce competition in a quartet of centre forwards -including Wolves forward Raul Jimenez – but Martino has confirmed only three will travel to Qatar.
That leaves Hernandez, Mexico’s all-time leading scorer with 52 goals in 109 matches, as the odd man out.
Martino said: “In the case of Chicharito, we are simply going with other forwards.
“We will try to choose the 26 players who are closest to our game.
“We have two [forwards] who can play and two who can’t. What I like is that we don’t have not enough players.
“Four forwards are not going to go [to Qatar], but as long as they make it difficult for me to choose, I’m very happy about that.
“Surely there will be talk of who is left out, but the problem will be abundance and not scarcity.”
The door was also slammed shut on fellow MLS and Mexico star Carlos Vela.
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Mexican manager Martino has marked Jimenez or Rogelio Funes Mori as serious doubts to feature against both Peru on Saturday at the Rose Bowl or against Colombia in California’s Bay Area on Monday.
But he has emphasised the need for them to travel with ‘El Tri’ for training, recovery and connection with their teammates.
Prolific poacher Hernandez has 20 goals and assists in 29 games in the MLS this season.
He boasts a better international goals-to-game ratio than top CONCACAF strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.
Hernandez has made 12 appearances across the 2010, 2014 and 2018 World Cups scoring four goals in the process.
The Mexican established himself playing for Europe’s elite with spells at United and Real Madrid.
His time with the Red Devils saw earn two Premier League titles, a Champions League runner up medal and the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award for the 2010-11 season.
Barring any injuries or decision changes by Martino, Chicharito’s final World Cup goal would have been in the group stage against South Korea in the 2018 tournament.