Mexico kicks off its Gold Cup campaign on Sunday against El Salvador with Manchester United striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez looking for his first piece of international silverware.
The Manchester United man has scored 20 goals this season and arrives at the competition in the United States off the back of a sensational debut season for the Reds.
Back in Mexico, the media is looking to their new star to lead the team to glory but Chicharito, down-to-earth as always, has played down his significance to the Mexican team.
I don't feel like the symbol, the idol, or the reference point of anything, as I have said in Manchester," explained Hernandez during a press conference with the national team. "I've never considered myself better because I play in Europe."In total, Mexico has won the CONCACAF Gold Cup five times, more than any other nation. However, the United States has become a serious challenge to Mexico' s hegemony over the last 15 years. The last two finals have been between Mexico and the United States. In this year's competition the U.S. team features former United players Jonathan Spector and Tim Howard. Strong challenges may also come from Costa Rica and Honduras. The winner of the competition qualifies for the Confederations Cup.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has previously said that the young Mexican striker won't be available for the Copa America, in which Mexico will field a team of mainly Under-22s mixed with five older players.
Mexico open their Gold Cup campaign against El Salvador on Sunday, June 5 at 8 p.m. Eastern time/ 7 p.m. Mexico time in Arlington Texas. Chicharito has declared himself ready to start.