Manchester United striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernández was nominated for the world’s most popular player award by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), alongside fellow countrymen Rafael Márquez and Giovanni Dos Santos.
The 23-year-old Mexican soccer star, who began his professional career playing for C.D. Guadalajara, came to prominence after signing to the Premier League powerhouse in 2010.
During last year’s World Cup he came off the bench to score a goal in a 2-0 win over France and followed that up with another goal in his first ever World Cup start during a 3-1 win against Argentina.
Despite the accolades, Hernández’s 2011-12 season with Manchester United has been marred by injury including a concussion after being hit in the head by a ball during a training session.
Chicharito was nominated by the IFFHS as the most popular player in the CONCACAF region, which includes Mexico, the United States as well as the countries in Central America and the Caribbean. Competing against the Mexican for the IFFHS title are Americans Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, Costa Rican Bryan Ruiz and Honduran Carlo Costly of the Houston Dynamo among others.
IFFHS members have from November 8 to December 15 to vote online for the most popular player in their countries. Then the three most famous players from Asia, Africa and CONCACAF will advance along with the top five from Europe and South America and one from Oceania.
The winner will emerge from the 20 players chosen in a vote between 16 December and 5 January.