He has 22 goals this season and has three consecutive seasons in a good level scorer: last year he scored 32 points and the previous one, the best of his career in this facet, scored 38 goals, 36 in Serie A the top scorer with the most goals in the history of the Italian league.
But still, Gonzalo Higuaín is still one of those strikers who get choked by big dates. In football you can fall on your feet and from there grow with the confidence that an error has forgiveness or be examined every day and lose a day what you earned in a month . Higuain belongs to the second group. Survive in this sport with the fear of failure.
That has come through a fame, possibly fair, of forward wandering, aimlessly, from here to there and without success anywhere . Bad performances in the most decisive matches did not help a good '9' end up being an international figure. That shot at the Bernabéu against Olympique Lyon the incomprehensible failure in the 2014 World Cup final, where he celebrated a goal canceled several seconds before, his disappointing duels against Barcelona, his absence in as many final … All form an unattractive record for a player who always opposed the term 'transcendent' and never reached it.
The Argentine will be this Tuesday (20:45 hours) the Juventus attacking reference in the first leg of the Champions League, where Higuain will meet again for the second time in less of one year (the other was the Cardiff final) with his team, the one in which he stayed in almost. His failures (and absences) in the most important duels ended up being remembered more than the epic goals that closed two leagues : the 2007, in a miracle against Espanyol, and the one in 2008, with the goal of the victory in Pamplona that in addition to giving the title propitiated the corridor of Barcelona.
In Real Madrid he lived an intense duel with Karim Benzema (the dog and the cat, remember), although today he does not live his best days as a target, yes that reached what choked Higuain: settle, be essential in the Bernabéu and build a story. Fruit of chance, when the Argentine left and the French reached fixed ownership, Madrid began to win the European Cups. The Argentine, on the other hand, was always waiting for glory. It happened to him at the Bernabéu, in Turin and with Argentina. Always in the almost, always runner-up in important finals.
In spite of everything, his daily performance was improving, the goals were coming and Higuaín became more transcendent with Juventus . He was decisive in the last Champions League, with a great performance in the semifinal match in Monaco, and is now presented after an excellent performance in a scenario as legendary as Wembley, where he scored a goal, attended Dybala in another and almost stopped him alone to Tottenham. Before, in the first leg, he had scored two more goals
Despite having four consecutive matches without a goal, that excellent qualifying round of the Champions League is the last (and best) letter of presentation of the Argentine. Higuain is not a bad player, although in recent times the memes and jokes have been primed with him. The double duel against Real Madrid (round trip are played in eight days) comes with a cascade of insults in which the focus on the player was lost. Everything must be put on a scale. Higuaín fails in the big games (the important thing), but he is not a second-rate striker.
In the environment, the traditional figure who has so bitterly assisted Real Madrid in Europe . That header by Morientes at Luis II of Monaco (fourth in 2004) or at Morata's pleasure at the Bernabéu (semifinals 2015). Higuaín has that profile, another thing is that he complies.
Juventus host Madrid on Tuesday in a state of uneasiness. To calm the waters, the club has pulled its past to encourage a crowd this Saturday, despite winning against Milan (3-1) and increasing their distance with Napoli in Serie A (four points), whistled some of his players . The Italian team recalled in a video j historical ugadas with which they beat Real Madrid : the penalty stop from Buffon to Figo and the goal of Nedved in the semifinals of 2003 or Trezeguet's goal in extra time the knockout round of 2005.
That's what Higuaín is missing: a goal to remember . As you will understand, it is not the same to mark Real Madrid as it is to Benevento and it is not the same to be decisive in a quarter of the Champions League than in a League match. The Argentine, to recompose his present. To shake off the memes.