Sunday, 14 March 2010

Gonzalo Higuain: The Main Man in Madrid

Currently Real Madrid boast some of the biggest Football names in the World, including the likes of players such as Kaka, Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos, club captain Raul, Xabi Alonso and of course the unforgettable Cristiano Ronaldo, aptly named the "Galactico's". However despite these Superstars, one playing has seemingly slipped under the radar, despite in my opinion being one the brightest and best players in Europe, Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain.

Some would say, how could a Real Madrid player slip under the radar? or be one of the brightest players in Europe and not be noticed? Well simple, because of the big money singings named above!

Higuain joined Real Madrid in 2006, for a fee of just €13 million, from Argentine Primera Division side River Plate, billed as having a "enormous future" and being "destined for stardom" by than manager (and Argentina legend) Daniel Passarella. He has been knicknamed in and around Spain as "El Pipita", in honour of his footballing Father, Jorge Higuain.

Here's all you need to know:

Name: Gonzalo Higuain
DOB: 22/12/1987 Age: 22
Height: 6ft
Nationality: Argentine
Position: Striker
Previous Clubs: River Plate Current Club: Real Madrid
Shirt Number: 20

In Europe, the names of Torres, Messi, Rooney, Drogba and fellow team mate Ronaldo all come up in arguments when vying for the accolade of "Best Striker in the World". Although Higuain may not be amongst those ranks right now, he looks as if he has all the attributes to point him in the right direction, and put him amongst the mix in the near future.

Playing amongst some of the biggest names in World Football, it's clear that despite the undoubted pressure cooker that is; playing every week at the Santiago Bernabeu, he boasts a commendable record of 54 goals, in 98 appearances, along with an addition 19 assists. A record that is as good as any other in Europe, and if continued, can put him amongst the best to wear the White shirt of Real, along with two La Liga titles to boot.

The Argentine established himself as the focal point of the Real attack, heading up the 4-2-3-1 formation, keeping the likes of Karim Benzema and Real Madrid icon Raul out of the side. He has displayed a knack for beating defenders combined with an injection of pace in the final third. The 22 year old poses excellent dribbling skills, as good as any other attacker, and of course an eye for goal. Tied with great awareness in and around the 18 yard area, he established himself in the hearts of Madrid fans at the end of his 1st season in Spain; scoring a vital goal against Espanyol, leading Real to take the La Liga crown from bitter rivals Barcelona.

Currently he has guided Real Madrid to the top of La Liga, and is battling it out with the likes of Valencia's David Villa and the 2009 World Player of the Year; FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi, in the race for the Pichichi (Spain's Golden Boot Award). He has score 16 goals in in just 19 appearances, establishing himself as the number one striker at the club, but question were raised about his performances away from La Liga, especially in the the Champions League whereby his displays and ability at this level have indeed been called into question, whereby the Striker has brushed off the criticism. It now seems it will be sooner rather than later before he adapts to Europe's top club competition, scoring important goals. Whatever the case, it seems that whoever's in charge at the Bernabeu in the future, and what may come from now on, it's clear Higuain is a true Madridista now, and for years to come.

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