Gonzalo Higuaín at AS
AS spoke with Gonzalo Higuaín in Argentina, where he’s currently on national team duty. During the interview, Pipita said,”I’m excited about what’s to come with Madrid.” Is this the clearest indication we’ve had so far that he is staying? I hope so! I’ll miss him (and his questionable jeans) too much if he doesn’t! ¡Pipita, quédate!
During this tough year, what was the moment that marked you the most?
The last game marked me a lot. An entire field asking you to stay, my teammates asking me to stay, the words that Sergio Ramos said before that… in these five years that I’ve been with Madrid, this was one of the most beautiful moments, if not the most beautiful, that I’ve experienced with the club. It’s one of those moments that will stay with you forever.
Did the ovation in the Bernabéu move you?
The affection touched me, and my teammates touched me, as they also showed me their affection. These are things that get to me… I was able to win a title with Real Madrid and receive this recognition for my hard work…
What’s the meaning behind the shirt signed by your teammates that you wore during the celebrations in Cibeles?
It wasn’t what was said.
It seemed to be a goodbye.
They signed it for me just as they did during the two Ligas I won before. I thank the team for the affection, I did feel it.
Do you feel loved inside the locker room?
Yes. I get along very well with everyone there. Fideo is the one I spend the most time with (smiles). [And El Chori?] We watch River and Rosario Central’s games together. Madrid has a healthy and sound squad.
Did you change after becoming one of the captains?
I was able to achieve my dream of being Madrid’s captain in a game. I didn’t act as the captain, but I have to confess that wearing the armband was a dream come true and something to be proud of. There’s only one captain and he’s great.
Were you able to relax once the season ended?
I had four to five days of rest and I was able to disconnect. It was good for me. I went to see my godson Renato, my nephew Santino and my niece Mora, my grandmother, my friends… those days helped me. I try to keep things as simple as possible. Perhaps I’m a bit reserved, a homebody, and I start thinking about many things… I keep thinking about many things that I don’t have to, but I’m like that. I try to be as transparent as possible. In the locker room of Real Madrid, I love joking around, making people laugh, transmitting joy although at times I do have my moments of anger, just like everyone else.
After a season in Madrid, what wore you out more, the physical aspect, or the psychological one since you have to deal with so much pressure?
Both things. The physical demands, since you’re always playing, and the psychological ones, because they’re tough. It was a tough year, we were in the Champions, we were able to win the Liga. It was a stressful season, but I’m happy to have achieved the Liga at last. And I’m excited about what’s to come with Madrid and with Argentina.
A new season is coming up. At what point of your career are you at?
I’m at a beautiful stage in my career. I just won a Liga with Madrid and now I’m with the national team. I want to enjoy it. Everything passes quickly. I worked very hard to be here, and I want to enjoy it. I’ll do everything to return to here.
As you didn’t have a guaranteed spot in Madrid’s starting XI, was it a satisfaction to have been able to maintain your personal best in goals?
The truth is that I feel very content with the number of goals that I was able to score this season. I could have scored more…
You only had a short vacation, but you seem happy to be with Argentina.
I say each time that I come that it’s a pleasure and a privilege to be here. I feel a lot of joy to be chosen by the coach and to be here once more. I worked hard to achieve this.
Do you feel privileged to play with Cristiano in Madrid and Messi with Argentina?
It’s great and that’s why I want to take advantage of these moments, since they don’t occur every day. When I can enjoy them up close, I do it. They are two great players. In addition, I’m able to do what I want and what I’ve worked for since I was a child. My dreams are coming true because of my work.
Are you still in contact with Raúl?
I found out that he’s going to Qatar. He told me to stay, that I was an important player for this club, and I thank him. I learned from him, and he treated me very well. It was a privilege to have shared conversations, a locker room, time with Raúl. I lost contact with him but whenever we can, we talk, because we get along very well.
Is it hard to measure everything you achieved at the age of only 24?
It’s complicated. You always talk with your people, or I start thinking about it and it’s very crazy everything that has happened to me, no? With the age that I have, which is quite young, it’s something beautiful and incredible. It’s my passion.
What commonalities are there between what Mourinho and Sabella ask of you?
The national team coach asks me to do what I do in Madrid. They’re not the same players, but what I’m asked to do is basically the same as what I do in Real Madrid.
Do you have a weakness for Di Stéfano? Don Alfredo has said that you are one of the footballers who is the most affectionate with him…
He generates admiration and idolatry in me. Don Alfredo experienced the maximum with Madrid. And he transmits that to you. It’s impressive. I love listening to him. I learn from his words.
Real Madrid-Barcelona or River-Boca?
Those are both great games. River-Boca is more passionate, with more fuss, more of a mess. Madrid-Barcelona is more orderly, although you know that the game is being watched everywhere in the world. These are two classic games that are great to play in. It’s an honor to be able to wear the shirt of Madrid in these important games. I also try to enjoy them.
What is the fight like between the best attackers in the world? There’s Kun, Messi, Di María, you…
It’s great. We try to give our best. Afterward, it’s up to the coach to decide who he sees as the best, but we’re all there to help.
Like Crespo or Batisuta, are you going to mark an era?
I only started recently. I’ve been lucky enough to play in a World Cup, the Copa América, qualifying rounds… I hope I can mark an era, it would be fantastic, but it’s complicated. I’m proud to wear the number 9 of Argentina.
Argentina will only play one qualifying match (during this summer, for the World Cup), against Ecuador. You all are obligated to win…
Yes. All the teams will have the possibility to achieve six points and we are only playing for three. We have to win this game.