Jorge Vergara was asked about Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez when he visited the press box at halftime of last week's Chivas USA opener, and the man who sold Mexico's reigning soccer god to Manchester United couldn't contain his excitement.
“I'm very pleased to be part of his success,” said Vergara, whose holdings include Club Deportivo Guadalajara and a good piece of Chivas USA, Guadalajara's little brother. “We decided to sell him instead of locking him up, and we made a statement when we sold him to Manchester United: He was going to be the best player in the world, and I think he's going to be, too.
“And I think even [Manchester United manager Alex] Ferguson didn't believe me, but the capabilities of the player -- now he believes what I told him.”
OK, we can all agree that Argentina's Lionel Messi is the world's finest talent, and his Barcelona teammates Xavi and Andres Iniesta -- the midfield foundation of Spain's World Cup triumph -- aren't far behind, and several others perhaps belong in the conversation, including Dutchman Wesley Sneijder, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and, when he's on, Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Who are we leaving out?
Is “Chicharito” in this class? Those who think not might want to watch tape of Mexico's 3-1 rout of Paraguay on Saturday afternoon up in Oakland. Hernandez scored twice to lead El Tri to a 3-0 lead by the 35th minute, and the quality of his finishes was breathtaking.
He scored on a superb header -- dipping his head to redirect Pablo Barrera's cross -- in the seventh minute and emphatically finished Ricardo Osorio's feed in the 34th.
That's 14 goals in 21 international matches over the past 13 months and two days, a stirring rate for any forward, and they include strikes against France and Argentina at the World Cup and goals against World Cup champion Spain (a month after the final) and runner-up Holland (two weeks before the Cup).
Now consider his superb form for Manchester United, where he's scored 16 goals in 34 matches, all competitions, and demonstrated a knack in front of the net that might be called world-class. Vergara knows well what the 22-year-old striker can do -- he had 21 in 28 league games for Guadalajara in the 2009-10 season, prompting his reported $9.65 million move to England, a bargain by any standard.
It was suggested to Vergara last week that perhaps he had sold “Chicharito” too cheaply.
“No,” he answered somewhat sternly. “We made thousands of percent of profit -- thousands. I think we did a big business, and I'm a true believe that somebody's going to make the last buck always, so thjat's good for them.”
WORTH NOTING: Andres Guardado, making his first appearance for coach Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre, scored the other goal for Mexico. … Toluca goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera won his first cap. … Zinha, also from Toluca -- de la Torre's last club -- made his first appearance for El Tri since March 2009. … Carlos Vela came on as a sub, but Efrain Juarez, who also is coming off a six-month team suspension, did not see action. … Rafa Marquez won his 99th cap and will look for No. 100 against Venezuela at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on Tuesday night.
At Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (Oakland, Calif.)
Mexico 3, Paraguay 0
M -- Javier Hernandez (Pablo Barrera) 7
M -- Andres Guardado 28
M -- Javier Hernandez (Ricardo Osorio) 34
P -- Christian Riveros (Hernan Perez) 86
Mexico: Alfredo Talavera; Ricardo Osorio (Paul Aguilar, 79), Rafa Marquez, Francisco Javier Rodriguez, Carlos Salcido; Pablo Barrera (Carlos Vela, 75), Israel Castro, Gerardo Torrado, Andres Guardado (Jorge Torres Nilo, 64); Zinha (Giovani Dos Santos, 70); Javier Hernandez (Aldo de Nigris, 65).
Paraguay: Justo Villar; Dario Veron (Marcos Caceres, 71), Paulo Da Silva, Antolin Alcaraz, Aureliano Torres; Osvaldo Martinez (Hernan Perez, 60), Enrique Vera, Christian Riveros, Nestor Ortigoza (Marcelo Estigarribia, 60); Edgar Benitez (Oscar Cardozo, 60), Lucas Barrios.
Yellow cards: Riveros 40, Vera 43, Castro 72, Estigarribia 76.
Referee: Paul Ward (Canada). Att.: 48,110.