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Higuain hoping to show ‘real’ worth

sports Updated: Jun 05, 2010 00:42 IST
HT Correspondent

French-born Argentine Gonzalo Higuain is the epitome of a devastating forward. Quick pace, nifty dribbling and powerful drives have made him a favoured striker both for Argentina and club Real Madrid. One of the faces to look out for this month, Higuain will play a crucial role in determining how far La Albiceleste progress in this edition.

Higuain began his professional career with River Plate in 2004. His manager Daniel Passarella extolled that the youngster was destined for superstardom. Following his 10 goals in the 2006-07 season, Higuain was signed by Madrid, making his debut against Real Zaragoza in 2007. His decisive strike against Espanyol allowed Madrid to win the title ahead of rivals Barcelona.

The next season saw Higuain winning the La Liga with Madrid again, the team’s 31st and his own effective assurance of first team starts with his first touch goal against Barca that led to a 4-1 Madrid win. He lifted the Supercopa de Espana in 2008-09 and ended the season as Real’s top scorer with 24 goals.

El Pipita, as he is affectionately called, scored his first Champions League goal against FC Zurich in Sep 2009. He finished the season with 27 goals, second only to Lionel Messi. His tally of 82 goals and 37 assists for Madrid over four seasons will only improve with time.

Higuain’s first international match was against Peru in a WC qualifier in Oct 2009. He scored in the 2-1 win and in his second friendly, against Germany, he scored the lone goal that separated the two.

South Africa will help the 22-year-old acclimatise to the bigger international stage. With his versatile presence in the line-up, Maradona is indeed spoilt for choice up in front.