Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez has defended the decision of fellow Mexico international Carlos Vela to join Los Angeles FC in Major League Soccer.
Expansion club LAFC confirmed Vela's move on Wednesday, a day after the player said he was leaving Real Sociedad to come to the U.S.
And Hernandez, who joined the Hammers for £16 million this summer despite reported interest from MLS clubs, minced no words during his first news conference as a member of the club when asked what he thought of Vela's move to California.
"I'm happy if he [Vela] is happy," Hernandez said. "Anyone does with his or her life whatever he or she wants to do. He did it for a reason, and I know he'll be happy."
Hernandez has gone through several clubs and leagues in Europe, from Manchester United, to Real Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen, and his latest stop has him returning to the United Kingdom.
However, Hernandez says that doesn't make Vela -- or new LA Galaxy signing Jonathan dos Santos -- any less of a player, and doesn't consider himself any better than those who have chosen to play in a league considered inferior to Europe's top five.
"I'm happy to join West Ham. That doesn't make me any better player or person than [Vela] or Jonathan dos Santos," Hernandez said. "I don't like being used as an example for coming here, because I'm different to them. I'm nothing more of a person or a player, any more ambitious than them. Mexican players must be respected,"
Hernandez believes that Mexico's national team will continue to include Vela, regardless of where he plays his club football.
"If he keeps on showing the level he's shown, [Mexico manager Juan Carlos] Osorio, or whomever watches him, will keep on calling him," Hernandez said. "If we make decisions in our lives from time to time, and they make us Mexicans proud, what else is there for us to do? We are trying to pursue our own happiness.
"We have to look at the positive side of things. The fact Jonathan dos Santos has joined his brother, that's a dream they both had and they lived it while playing at Villarreal.
"They will be living a better life. Why is that wrong? Why is it that [Mexicans] have to be used to suffering? Because 'Chicharito' is in England, in London, playing in a country with a different language, he's worth it and the rest are not, whenever they are not.
"They are my teammates and I love them and admire them. I'm tired of looking at the negative side of things whenever questions are made in Mexico -- whether we win, lose or draw; whether some guys play abroad, whether they're pursuing their happiness; whether some players grow. It's just about everything. There's always a negative side to everything."