Mexico City, May 23 (IANS) Star striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, the all-time top scorer for the Mexican national team with 49 goals, joined up with the team for training here for the final stages of preparations for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Hernandez, who plays for English Premier League club West Ham United, was present at the morning practice under Colombian coach Juan Carlos Osorio on Tuesday, reports EFE news agency.
Expected to lead the line in Russia, Hernandez, who endured a frustrating club season in which he found starting opportunities limited, was active in the morning session and returned to the field with his teammates in the afternoon.
He was joined by defender, Diego Reyes, and midfielder, Hector Herrera, striker Jesus M. Corona, all of whom play for FC Porto in Portugal, and goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, of Belgian club, Standard Liege.
Osorio has three more friendly matches, against Wales on Monday, and against Scotland on June 2 and against Denmark on June 9, before the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, which kicks off on June 14.
Mexico has made it to the Round of 16 in each of the six previous World Cups, but has not made it to the quarter-finals since they hosted the tournament in 1986.
Last week, Osorio announced his 28-man preliminary roster, out of whom 23 will be selected for the tournament.
The coach said he was confident that six of the players on the list who are injured, including defenders Nestor Araujo, Diego Reyes and Hector Moreno and midfielders Andres Guardado, Giovani and Jonathan Dos Santos, would recover in time for Russia.
Mexico are in Group F alongside reigning world champions Germany, South Korea and Sweden.
Their first game is on Jun 17 against Germany.