YEKATERINBURG, Russia - Javier Hernandez says that a buoyant Mexico want to "accomplish the impossible" and win the World Cup in Russia, on the eve of their clash with Sweden. The Mexicans have repeatedly failed to go beyond the last 16 in recent decades, but the West Ham United striker nicknamed Chicharito wants this time to be different.
Mexico have one foot in the last 16 once more having won both their Group F matches, and Hernandez told reporters: "The best things about dreams is to share them, share them with people like you who are dreamers. Like you, were are not just dreamers, but work hard to make those dreams come true." He added: "We want to accomplish the impossible."
The 30-year-old striker's goal in the 2-1 victory over South Korea on Saturday made him the first Mexican player to score 50 goals for his country (in 104 appearances). It was also further evidence -- coupled with a 1-0 victory over reigning world champions Germany -- that Mexico can erase the pain of recent history.
They have never won the World Cup and the last time they went beyond the last 16 was in 1986, on home turf, when they were beaten on penalties in the quarter-finals by what was then West Germany. That equalled the best appearance by Mexico at a World Cup.
Seamos valientes y no solo disfrutemos del éxito. Ayer ganamos pero para ganar mañana necesitamos jugar por el amor al juego y disfrutar jugar sin expectativas y sin apegos.
Muchas gracias por todo su apoyo estén en donde estén! #NadaNosDetiene #VivaMéxico pic.twitter.com/eaewfE2Fe0
Mexico must finish the job in the group stages against Sweden on Wednesday at Yekaterinburg Arena, where a point will be enough to see them through. Mexico have six points and are top of the group with their opponents Sweden and Germany battling it out on three.
"We still have not qualified but who would have said we would have six points by now?" asked Hernandez, a former Manchester United forward who always appears happiest wearing the green of his country. "I try to look at life as a great opportunity, it is going to be a great match."