Speaking to ESPN’s Futbol Americas, the duo provided clarification about their future status for a possible return to Gerardo “Tata” Martino’s side.
“I said it two years ago, I said it last year and I will say it now. If I don’t want to be in the [Mexican] national team, I will retire [from the national team]. Simple as that,” Hernandez said.
Martino has stated in the past that it’s possible to bring him back into the squad. Mexico has dealt with attacking issues in the last several months due to injury problems for starting forward Raul Jimenez. In the two World Cup qualifiers at home against Costa Rica (Jan. 30) and Panama (Feb. 2), Mexico has struggled to find the net in 180+ minutes at the Estadio Azteca.
“No, it’s closed,” said the 32-year-old winger on whether the door is open for rejoining the national team. “I had my chances, I played two World Cups.”
“I think it’s the only way to improve [Mexico], when you leave the chance to other guys and try to make them get that pressure, get that level,” added Vela, who joined LAFC in 2018.
Since his arrival to MLS in 2020, Hernandez has yet to play against Vela in an MLS game due to injuries for either or both players. They’re expected to finally take the field against each other for the El Trafico rivalry renews on April 9.
Hernandez noted that both teams need to win more titles in the future to improve the series, but also highlighted the animosity that still exists between the Los Angeles clubs.
“We are neighbors, we want to do better [than them],” said Hernandez about El Trafico. “You don’t want to give them points, you want to beat them. It’s the mentality of a winning team. You need to face each team with that desire. With that extra ingredient.”
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