Mexican national team head coach Gerardo Martino confirmed he has been in recent contact with LA Galaxy star Chicharito, but maintained any ongoing conversations do not guarantee him a place on the roster for the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
Martino revealed the information during a press conference ahead of Mexico’s friendly against Nigeria at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the team’s first of four games during the June international window.
“We have had communication with Javier, surely there is another to have,” Martino admitted before doubling down on any future speculation.
"I never said that a meeting indicated any future commitment. If my meeting [with a player] generates some kind of commitment, today we would have seventy players in the national team."
Chicharito has been notoriously missing from the Mexican national team, last featuring during a friendly against the US men’s national team in September 2019. His absence has been, in part, due to his violation of team rules when sneaking women into the hotel under Martino’s watch in 2019.
Since his exclusion, several Mexican figures have stepped up for the role.
“There is a competition between the ‘9’. Today we are with Raúl, who is our striker and benchmark, and who must be helped to recover his best version; plus Henry and Santiago, and the recovery we expect from Funes Mori. Today they are, and in the near future we will see,” added Martino.
But with renewed contact and Chicharito’s recent success with the LA Galaxy, he may be a contender once again. In 2021, the forward managed 17 goals and three assists in 21 matches, finding his groove before kicking off this year’s campaign with five goals in 13 games.
Martino will have several opportunities to call up different players before making his ultimate World Cup roster decisions. The Mexican national team will host Paraguay in August, before playing two more friendlies in September against undetermined opponents.