FOOTBALL NEWS

16/06/2010 08:02, Report by Steve Bartram

Mexico embraces United

Ever since Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez agreed his switch to England, Mexican interest in United has sky-rocketed.

According to Tom Marshall, a journalist based in Guadalajara, locals are keen to follow their nation's most exciting prospect as he makes the transition to English football.

"The day after the deal, people were talking for hours about how he’s going to fit into the United team," says Marshall. "Is he even going to play? How will he play with Rooney? Lots of speculation.

"In general, English football is popular in Mexico because it’s on cable, which most people have. There’s a lot of exposure, probably 70-80 per cent of United’s games are shown either live or on the day of the game. You see United shirts on the street and there’s a big interest in the press as well as people try to keep up with United. So it’s a good commercial deal for the club as well."

With United taking on Chivas in a friendly at the end of July to mark the opening of Estadio Chivas as part of the Chicharito deal, the clamour for tickets is overwhelming.

"I work for a little local English language newspaper here and when I wrote the story on United playing here, we had the most comments on a story we’ve ever had," says Marshall. "Most of those were people asking for tickets, and a lot of them were US-based Mexicans who wanted to come down for the game. In fact it’s not even a game, it’s more of an event for the city. The new stadium is very nice. It’s not as big as the old one, as it only holds about 45,000, but they could have filled it several times over."

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