The butt of jokes about his choking tendencies and his weight sees Gonzalo Higuaín looking to the Champions League final as a way to right a few wrongs
The mythical number nine spot is by far the most talked about position in the world of football and few have experienced the pressure of being a striker more than Gonzalo Higuaín. The Argentinian striker has scored goals everywhere he’s been from Argentina to Madrid and is undoubtedly up there with the best forwards in world football.
Despite all of that there have been a one or two characteristics of poor El Pipita which have made the footballer one of the most ridiculed players around.
Firstly, his physical appearance is not quite what you expect from a top athlete. Weighing 87 kilograms has made Higuaín a regular in humorous memes and even brought criticism from the owner of the Argentinean’s former club, Napoli. However, it doesn’t seem to limit his goal scoring abilities, 70 strikes in his last two seasons would suggest otherwise.
— José (@josepintoj) May 9, 2017
As well as the weight issues, there’s also a topic that has dominated fan’s opinion about the current Juventus player. It’s his tendency to fluff his lines in big games. Really big ones. Certainly Argentinians feel this very strongly as Higuaín’s blown chances in finals has, in their eyes, cost the Albiceleste the World Cup in 2014 and the Copa América’s of both 2015 and 2016. It has resulted in Higuaín being classified as a big game ‘bottler’.
This season, Higuaín is slowly but surely saying goodbye to that unfortunate branding as he has already scored goals against Lazio, AS Roma, Napoli and most notably against AS Monaco in the Champions League semi-final. In total, Higuaín has found the back of the net 32 times this campaign, making him Juventus’ top scorer in all competitions.
After years of constant mockery, Higuaín, at 29, is proving his doubters wrong. His record breaking 38 goals for Napoli last season weren’t enough for some people as hardly any of those goals were scored against big teams, but this time around those people have no ammunition against Higuaín.
On Saturday, the former River Plate player will take part in the biggest club game of his life. He can finally bid farewell to his flawed past once and for all. In the Champions League final the Argentinean, coincidentally, will face his former club Real Madrid who preferred Karim Benzema as their No9 and subsequently sold Higuaín in the summer of 2013. It puts even more significance onto the game for Juventus’ frontman who seems ready to finally shine on the big stage.