Grandad of Javier Hernandez and Mexico World Cup legend Tomas Balcazar dies

Tomas Balcazar, the grandfather of Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, has died at the age of 88.

He passed away of causes yet to be disclosed in his native city of Guadalajara, Mexico on Sunday.

Balcazar represented his country at the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland when he was 22 years old. He scored a goal against France in the group stages, 56 years before Chicharito replicated the feat with a goal against Les Bleus in the 2010 tournament in South Africa when he was the same age.

The Mexico Football Federation paid tribute to Balcazar with a statement on Monday which read: “The Mexican national teams lament the passing of Tomas Balcazar Gonzalez, former Mexico national team player and Mexican football legend.

“We share in the grief of his family and friends.”

The Mexico Football Federation and Guadalajara paid tribute to their former player

Balcazar made his debut for Guadalajara in 1948 and helped the club win their first Primera Division title nine years later, also clinching the Campeon de Campeones title that year.

He was a hugely popular figure in his home town, where there is a street named after him.

“Club Deportivo Guadalajara is in mourning, one of the biggest legends of Mexican football has left us,” Guadalajara – colloquially known as ‘Chivas’ – tweeted.

Chicharito came through the ranks at Guadalajara - just like his grandfather
Chicharito came through the ranks at Guadalajara – just like his grandfather

“Thanks for the championships, the enormous legacy you left in our history and above all for your human qualities.”

Balcazar, the father of Chicharito’s mother, was close with his grandson and continued to mentor him after he left Chivas for Manchester United in 2010.

“We are a super united [family],” he told ESPN Deportes at the time. “But there will be no reception, no fireworks set off.

“We’ll receive him [in Guadalajara] as a human being, as the grandson we love so much.”

Balcazar’s son-in-law and Chicharito’s dad, Javier ‘Chicharo’ Hernandez, represented his country at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

Chicharito scored 59 goals across six seasons with the Red Devils before leaving for Bayer Leverkusen in 2017.

He returned to the Premier League for a stint with West Ham, then spent six months with Sevilla before joining LA Galaxy in January 2020.

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