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Mexico great Tomas Balcazar, grandfather of Javier Hernandez, dies

Mexico and Chivas legend Tomas Balcazar, left, was an important influence on grandson Javier Hernandez.

Chivas and Mexico legend Tomas Balcazar, grandfather to LA Galaxy striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, died in his native Guadalajara on Sunday aged 88.

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Balcazar played for Mexico in the 1954 World Cup, scoring a goal against France, which Hernandez famously replicated against Les Bleus at the 2010 edition in South Africa.

"The Mexican national teams lament the passing of Tomas Balcazar Gonzalez, ex-Mexico national team player and Mexican football legend," read a statement from the Mexican federation.

Balcazar debuted for Chivas in the 1948-49 season and was part of the Liga MX giant's first championship win in 1957, as well as the Campeon de Campeones title that same year.

The father of Hernandez's mother, Balcazar is highly revered in Guadalajara and had a street a named after him in the city. Hernandez's father, also named Javier, was part of Mexico's 1986 World Cup squad.

"Club Deportivo Guadalajara is in mourning, one of the biggest legends of Mexican football has left us," Chivas tweeted. "Thanks for the championships, the enormous legacy you left in our history and above all for your human qualities."

Balcazar was an important influence on Hernandez and kept the striker focused following his move from Chivas to Manchester United in 2010.

"We are a super united [family]," Balcazar told ESPN at the time. "But there will be no reception, no fireworks set off. We'll receive him [back in Guadalajara] as a human being, as the grandson we love so much."

The cause of death was not revealed.

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