The Mexico international scored 26 goals for Bayer Leverkusen in his first Bundesliga season, and the striker criticised his former clubs for wasting his potential previously
Coming off his best goal return in a season, Bayer Leverkusen striker Javier Hernandez said former clubs Manchester United and Real Madrid did not give him the opportunity to be “the star”.
Hernandez won two Premier League titles and as many Community Shields in five years at United, while the Mexico international helped Madrid to Club World Cup glory in 2014 during his loan stint in the Spanish capital.
However, Hernandez was never a regular starter in Manchester or Madrid, utilised as an impact player off the bench.
And after scoring 17 Bundesliga goals in his debut season for Leverkusen – 26 in all competitions – the 28-year-old lamented the lack of faith shown in him by United and Madrid.
“We all know the history of United and Real – European Cups, fighting for everything – but now I’m with the third-best team in the Bundesliga,” Hernandez said in an interview with FourFourTwo.
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“If I’d been given more chances at United or Real, I’d probably have been ‘the star’ there as well – we’ll never know.
“I didn’t have the chance. I never had the chance to play 20 games in a row so people could say: ‘He’s a good player who should stay’ or ‘He can’t be the star – he’s not a good player’.
“Ask the United fans. The numbers are there. I started only 85 games at United and I scored 60 goals [in total]. At Real, I started just 12 games and scored nine goals.
“At Leverkusen I’ve started 37 games and I have 26 goals. The difference is that Leverkusen want me on the pitch. The others didn’t.”