About 9700 kilometres and the Atlantic Ocean lie between the Mexican and his favourite club. Rodrigo Pichardo is a loyal Herthaner from Mexico. The 34-year-old grew up in the Mexican capital before moving to Tampico to study north at the age of 18. There he not only successfully completed his bachelor's degree, but also his master's degree in industrial management. One of his passions besides football is traveling. The industrial engineer has now traveled to 28 countries, many of them in Europe - and Pichardo’s heart belong to the ‘Old Lady’ of Berlin. But it was even before his first journey to the Spree that his Hertha connection was established. Latin America began broadcasting the Bundesliga in 2013 and that was when the Mexican developed an interest in the capital club. “I like how the club re-established itself in the top flight after promotion from the second division,” explained Pichardo to herthabsc.de.
His first trip to Europe was in October 2013, and of course Berlin was on his list of places to visit. “I was there to immerse myself in the history and culture, but I was also there to learn more about Hertha BSC,” revealed the 34-year-old. In order to gain this knowledge, he went straight to the Olympiastadion. There was no game on that day, but even just stadium wowed Pichardo. Upon his return to Mexico, Pichardo watched every Hertha game at the weekend, which usually started early in the morning for him, given the seven hour time difference. In November 2015, he returned to Berlin once more, but again he arrived at the wrong time. Due to the international break, there was no game at the Olympiastadion again. Instead, together with his parents, he looked around the Olympic Stadium again and bought some souvenirs.
Eight months in Berlin
But despite the two failed attempts to watch a game live at the Olympiastadion, the huge football fan didn't give up - and on the third try he was finally rewarded. True to the motto: third time’s a charm. And this time, he became a true Berliner. As fate would have it, Pichardo moved to the German capital for eight months. From July 2017, the Mexican participated in a cooperation project of one of the largest German automotive groups. Now he could finally see his 'old lady' in action - and it was against none other than Liverpool FC, just a few weeks after his move. It was 'just' a friendly game and the Hertha lost 3-0 to the 'Reds', but it was a special experience for Pichardo. "It was fantastic to be in the stadium,"said the Mexican on what was a truly unforgettable moment.
The 0-0 draw at home to Athletic Bilbao in the UEFA Europa League group stage in September 2017 was another highlight. "Although the game ended goalless, it was still special for me," revealed the industrial engineer. The Mexican’s last game at the Olympiastadion was in December 2017: A 3-1 home win against Hannover 96, in which Jordan Torunarigha scored his first home goal. The cooperation project in Germany ended in February 2018, and Pichardo returned to Mexico. Just a few months later, he moved to the center of the country in Guanajuato, where he still lives now.“German football is really impressive. No other league has fans like they do in Germany. Mexicans and Germans share the same passion in the stands," the 34-year-old explained, highlighting the reason behind his affection for the Bundesliga. "I am very much looking forward to coming back to Berlin soon and attending another Hertha BSC home game," said Pichardo. In the past, plenty of players from both North and South America have pulled on the Hertha BSC jersey, but the club has never had a Mexican in its ranks. "Hopefully one day I will see a Mexican play for Hertha BSC," said Pichardo with a grin.