The curse that continues to haunt Gonzalo Higuain

Let’s flash back to where it all started: July 13, 2014.

Close your eyes and paint the picture:

74,000 people jam packed inside the historic Maracana stadium, in Brazil for the World Cup Final between Argentina and Germany.

Most stories are often told about the hero. Unfortunately this story isn’t one of them.

The villain: Gonzalo Higuain.

A misplaced header from German midfielder Toni Kroos sees Higuain through on goal with only the keeper in his path. He sprays his shot wide, and Argentina go on to lose the World Cup Final.

It’s the moment that will forever haunt Higuain…

That earth-shattering day marked an irreversible curse for the Argentinian forward. Whether the curse exists in his mind or is merely fate itself, we will never know. What we do know is that this so called curse has haunted him for the last four years.

Just nine days short of a year between his World Cup catastrophe, Higuain had the chance to redeem himself against Chile in the 2015 Copa América Final.

Neither team could break the scoreless deadlock after extra time, which meant the one thing every player dreads – penalties.

Time froze for what seemed an eternity, as Higuain watched his penalty blaze over the bar. Messi was the only player to score for La Selección that day, as they bowed out of yet another final.

History repeated itself a year later in the Copa América Centenario Final once again. ‘El Pipita’ split Chile’s defense like the Red Sea, before skying his ball wide. Argentina didn’t take any chances this time, subbing off Higuain in the 70th minute.

It still wasn’t to be, as Chile once again prevailed Champions on penalties.

Just three days ago, Higuain had the opportunity to reverse the curse against Real Madrid in the Champions League Final.

The 33 year old in-form Juventus striker could finally put an end to the hoodoo.

After being mocked and scorned by his own fans, and the football world for choking in big games, this was his chance to put an end to it all. 

Just hours before the final in Cardiff, Higuain was reminded of his World Cup nightmare in a press conference by a Journalist.

“I’ll just say if I play a final like that, don’t come to ask me for an interview,” said Higuain. 

Higuain flopped once again as Juventus lost 4-1 to Real Madrid.

 

The €90million Juventus signing scored 32 goals in all competitions leading Juventus to six consecutive Serie A titles. He even won three in Spain with Real Madrid once upon a time.

It makes you ask the question, how has he never scored a goal in a major final? Higuain looked like a ghost out there, scarred from his recent past.

The 29 year old clearly can’t cope mentally on the big stage. Higuain is going to have to change that quickly, as he’s currently in Melbourne preparing for a monster clash against neighboring rivals Brazil in front of over 80,000 people.

Let’s hope Higuain’s next big cup final has a happier ending than this one. 

Ari Charilaou