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Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez’s club team may keep him from Olympics

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez

Mexico’s Javier Hernandez celebrates after scoring a penalty kick during a friendly soccer match against Argentina at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)


Striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez should play for the Mexican national team at Copa America Centenario in June or the Rio Olympics in August, but not both, his club team’s sporting director said, according to

“From our ideal point of view, for the club, it would be ideal if Chicharito played one of the two events, but not both,” Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Jonas Boldt said, according to the report. “That is our idea, although we have yet to sit and speak with our players. We have close to 10 players who could play at Copa America or the Olympic Games, and the club also have their own commitments.

“But in addition to that, the players need to rest.”

Hernandez, 27 and a former Manchester United star, played in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups and ranks second in the national team’s record books in goals scored.

If Hernandez does make the Mexican Olympic team, he would be one of a maximum of three over-age players on the squad. Olympic soccer tournaments are made up of U-23 players and the three exceptions.

Clubs are under no obligation to release players to compete in the Olympics, unlike Copa America Centenario.

Manchester United kept Hernandez from the London Games, for rest purposes, and Mexico went on to win its first soccer medal (a gold) without him.

The Copa America Centenario-Olympics situation could also be an issue for Brazilians (like Neymar), Argentinians (like Lionel Messi) and Americans, should the U.S. qualify for the Olympics in March.

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