The retirement of Gonzalo Higuain, guilty for eternity after his failure in the final of the 2014 World Cup?

Strange anniversary that the one described, each year, by Olé. Every July 13, the Argentinian daily prepares a dossier retracing the final of the 2014 World Cup. in background. One actor is at the center of all these anniversary articles: Gonzalo Higuain. For him, this July 13, 2014 is a founding moment. And an eternal bend.

21st minute of the World Cup final between Argentina and Germany. Gonzalo Higuain is not replaced after an Argentine offensive pushed back by the German defense. The ball drags in the air and Toni Kroos does not ensure his recovery of the head. “Pipita” then finds himself in an ideal situation, at the entrance to the surface, with the lead over the German rearguard and a ball which comes at him. The rest, it is still he who tells it best.

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It was an unexpected, unexpected opportunityhe retired in 2018 for TNT Sports. I was there by chance and unfortunately I could not materialize. I tried to end with the first idea that came to my mind but I don’t know if I would do the same if it happened to me today. In fact, she arrives behind my back, after a discount from an opposing player from fifteen meters. But as soon as I pivoted, I already had Neuer in front of me. In fact, people see her as easier than she is.“.

Gonzalo Higuain’s failure against Germany in the 2014 World Cup final

Credit: Getty Images

His failure rather than his goals?

The rest of this final was a descent into hell for the Argentine striker. A goal invalidated for offside, despite an explosion of joy throughout the country, and this virile exit from Neuer which still makes ink flow in Argentina. At 27, Pipita’s career took a turn he never mastered again. At home, he has become this prolific centre-forward who goes silent at the worst possible moment. His failure against Claudio Bravo in the 2016 Copa America final (in the 21st minute, god that fate is sometimes teasing) finished convincing even his most ardent defenders.

The truth is it’s hard to explain what happenedadvanced Alfio Basile in 2018, former coach of Albiceleste, the one who had snatched him from Raymond Domenech in 2006. Suddenly, he finds himself with the ball, without marking, 20m from the goal, with time to move forward and choose quietly where to put the ball. But he was wrong, he did none of that and shot anywhere. Honestly, it didn’t look good for him to say he screwed up. But that’s what happened. Realizing that he was about to score the goal that will take him and Argentina into eternity weighed too much on him“. A perfect summary of the perception of ‘Pipita’ since.

Gonzalo Higuain’s failure against Germany in the 2014 World Cup final

Credit: Getty Images

Since 2014, despite amazing seasons in Italy, despite his status with the Albiceleste (32 goals in 75 caps, 5th top scorer), Higuain no longer really belonged to himself. He has become one. Above all, he became the one who deprived the Messi generation of a title they deserved. If the coronation in Copa America of 2021 somewhat relieved the country, Higuain did not provide this wave of support.

I almost quit football after the World Cuphe explained again in 2018. It was my mother who told me to continue but if I had listened to myself, I would have stopped“. This Tuesday, it is therefore in a well-felt editorial that Olé tried to repair what he could be with this evocative title “Thank you and forgiveness”. “We know perfectly the gears of the machine which has devoured Pipita (and Leo in part). This is also why we must value this perseverance and this patience: he should have told us to go fuck ourselves“, is it thus written in the preamble.

Generation frustration?

No coincidence, no doubt, that Higuain chose Miami as the end point of his rich career rather than Argentina where his debut with River Plate had nevertheless been seduced. If forgiveness exists in football, it is not yet total. Because he will embody the one who deprived Messi of a crown that continues to fail him. Apart from victory in Qatar, the “Leo generation” will always have this frustration and this ideal scapegoat.
Without doing what the people want, we have reached three successive finalsSergio Aguero got angry in 2016. And people want change? Let’s be serious: if we had won one or two of these finals, these questions would not exist“. History decided otherwise. Unfortunately for Higuain.

Gonzalo Higuain and Lionel Messi after the loss to Germany

Credit: Getty Images

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