Javier Hernandez on Mexico status: 'I'm still eligible' for national team

Is it time for LA Galaxy to move on from Chicharito? (2:11)

Herculez Gomez debates the future of Javier Hernandez at LA Galaxy. (2:11)

LA Galaxy forward Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez rejected the notion that his time is over with the Mexico national team, despite not earning a call-up with El Tri since 2019 and recently being left out of a preliminary 31-man roster for the World Cup.

"I'm still eligible," Mexico's all-time leading goalscorer said on an episode of Hugo Sanchez Presenta. "When I see that I no longer want to be in the national team or decide to step aside because I think I can no longer help, I'm going to retire from the national team."

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Hernandez's absence from the national team was reportedly due to an off-the-field issue, but there appeared to be signs of a possible reconciliation when Mexico coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino said in May that he'd had conversations with the striker, while also noting that it didn't mean Hernandez would return.

Although the 34-year-old scored 18 goals for the Galaxy this season and was selected as a finalist for MLS' 2022 MVP award, he was ultimately left out of the preliminary World Cup roster, with Martino saying in September that the team was focusing on other options at the forward position for Qatar.

However, in the September interview with Sanchez, Hernandez denied the rumor of him being banned by Mexico due to a possible role in helping push for contract negotiations and bonuses for national team players.

"We had a WhatsApp group and I got out of it because I didn't want to negotiate anything anymore, I just wanted to play soccer," Hernandez said. "There was a moment when I left that they told me I had to sign something and I told them 'whatever it is that I'm going to earn, we can distribute it to the team staff and young players, but I don't want to sign this.'

"I don't know what ended up happening, I've been out for three years and I absolutely haven't negotiated anything in this process with 'Tata' Martino."

The striker also said that he will return to the Galaxy next year and that he and the club "are in talks" of potentially extending his contract beyond 2023.

Hernandez and the Galaxy recently closed out their run in the MLS Cup playoffs with an exit in the Western Conference Semifinals after a 3-2 loss to rivals LAFC on Oct. 20. In the 2022 regular season, the Galaxy finished fourth in the West.

Mexico are in Group C with Argentina, Poland and Saudi Arabia at the World Cup in Qatar, which begins on Nov. 20.