Gonzalo Higuian Is Fully Appreciated At Napoli

By Tyronne Pruitt
Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports

The French-born Argentine International at age 25 has already achieved what could be considered an illustrious career. Starting his youth career with Argentina-based club River plate in 2007, they sold Gonzalo Higuian to Spanish giants Real Madrid. Although Higuian scored a staggering 107 goals in 190 appearances, a strike rate most would envy, he never seemed to be fully appreciated with Los Blancos.

Having an apprenticeship under Real Madrid legend Raul definitely helped Higuian, as he became a clinical finisher early on in his development. As Raul was phased out at Madrid, it was time for Higuian to finally shine and lead the line as Los Blancos main striking option. Or so we thought. Then came French International Karim Benzema from Lyon, a young starlet just like Higuian.

When Jose Mourinho became manager, it seemed that no matter what Higuian did, no matter how many goals he scored or set up, he would always be second choice to Benzema. Benzema, to his credit, seemed to fit better along Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria in the attacking third of the pitch. The Frenchman’s link-up play and overall skillset seemed a better fit. Benzema seemed to show more versatility even though he wasn’t as clinical as Higuian in front of goal.

Higuian is a true penalty box striker; given a consistent run of games, his production can be astonishing. Rafa Benetiz, the new Manager of Napoli, has shown the faith in the Argentine that he so desperately needed. With the departure of Uruguayan International Edinson Cavani to French giants Paris Saint-German, Higuian has gotten what he always wanted to be the undisputed striker in a competitive Champions League side.

Appreciation goes a long way into the psychological make-up of a player. Now that Higuian no longer has to look over his shoulder at club level, he will continue to take the Serie A by storm. Having scored four goals already, the Argentine looks to have his best season yet in a fully appreciative atmosphere. As he looks to challenge for a World Cup place in a competitive Argentina side that boast attacking options the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio AgueroEzequiel Lavezzi, Angel Di MariaEric LamelaRodrigo Palacio and Carlos Tevez among others.


Tyronne Pruitt is a Soccer writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TPruitt_454846, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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