Chicharito Became The First Mexican To Win The Europa League — From Los Angeles

Here’s why Chicharito earned a Europa League winner’s medal on Friday.

Sevilla won a record sixth Europa League title, edging Inter Milan 3-2 in a dramatic final on Friday. Lost in the madness of the entertaining match was the fact an LA Galaxy striker claimed his first Europa League championship. Despite having left the club in January, Javier Hernadnez did enough to earn himself a winner’s medal.

Chicharito became the first Mexican to win the Europa League. Before you get all outraged, technically Hugo Sanchez and Nery Castillo won the UEFA Cup, before the competition took its current name.

Embed from Getty Images

So how does a player who left the club months ago get credited for winning the Europa League? 

Before leaving Sevilla for the LA Galaxy, Chicharito played in four of the club’s group-stage matches. He played 259 minutes and scored two goals — against APOEL and Qarabag — to help Sevilla top Group A. His goal against Qarabag was a beauty.

UEFA gives winners 40 medals to give out to team members. To qualify as a champion, you simply have to play a single minute in the competition. Considering Sevilla has less than 40 players on the roster, Chicharito is an easy choice to give a winner’s medal. 

Not bad for sitting on your bum in Los Angeles. Hernandez can add the medal to the FIFA Club World Cup he won with Real Madrid in 2014 plus two Premier League titles he won with Manchester United. 

Chicharito has actually played for three teams amid the 2019-20 season. He started the campaign with West Ham, playing two Premier League matches before moving to Sevilla, where he made nine league appearances. He’s played three matches for the Galaxy, scoring once for a team that has yet to win this season.

Chicharito’s LA Galaxy play El Traffico against LAFC on Saturday night. Dealing with injuries, Hernandez might not play.