Gonzalo Gerardo Higuaín (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡon ˈsalo iɣwaˈin], born 10 December 1987) is a French-born Argentine professional footballer who plays for Italian club Napoli and the Argentina national team as a striker. Nicknamed El Pipita or Pipa, as was his father, Jorge ,Gonzalo Higuaín was born in France, attaining Argentine citizenship in 2007, and now holds dual nationality.
Higuaín was born in Brest, France, the son of the Argentine former footballer Jorge Higuaín, who was playing for Stade Brestois 29 as an expatriate. Therefore, he holds dual French-Argentine nationality. Having left the country at the age of 10 months, he did not return to France until the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Even though he does not speak French, he holds a French passport because his father was naturalized in France. He
successfully applied for Argentine nationality in January 2007. Higuaín has two elder brothers, Nicolas and Federico, the latter of which plays for MLS club Columbus Crew SC as a deep-lying forward, and one younger brother, Lautaro.
A hardworking striker and a prolific goalscorer, Higuaín is regarded as one of the top strikers of his generation, and is known in particular for his great striking ability, as well as his technical skill, and ability to hold up the ball and lay it off to other players; he is also known for his pace in the final third of the pitch, which makes him an offensive threat during counter-attacks. His playing style has earned him comparisons with compatriots Hernan Crespo and Gabriel Batistuta.
Higuaín started playing in the youth teams and made his debut with River Plate in a 2–1 defeat against Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata on 29 May 2005. On 12 February 2006, he scored his first league goal in a 3–1 victory over Banfield. Higuaín ended the 2005–06 season with five goals in 12 appearances. Following his brace in the Superclásico derby against Boca Juniors on 8 October 2006, River Plate manager Daniel Passarella declared that Higuaín had an “enormous future” and was “destined for superstardom.” In the following season, he scored 10 goals in 17 league matches.
In December 2006, Spanish club Real Madrid signed Higuaín for €12 million from River Plate. His debut came on 11 January 2007 against Real Betis in the second round of the Copa del Rey in Seville. His first league game came 3 days later, on 14 January 2007, against Real Zaragoza at home. Higuaín was involved in the creation of numerous scoring chances and in the assistance for the only goal, which earned Madrid the victory. His first goal with Real came on 24 February when the team faced Atlético Madrid in the Madrid derby, the equaliser (1–1) at the Estadio Vicente Calderón. Later on the season, Higuaín capped an impressive performance by scoring a last-minute goal in a league match against Espanyol to earn his team a 4–3 win.
Due to Higuaín’s availability in the summer of 2012, clubs like Arsenal and Napoli were keen to sign him. Higuaín was at the centre of much transfer speculation, with many newspapers linking him to a move to Arsenal before Napoli’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis said that Higuaín, along with Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, had passed their medicals and that the Argentine had signed a five-year deal with the Italian club, with Higuaín joining for €40 million. On 27 July, Napoli confirmed the signing of Higuaín, with the Argentine being assigned the number 9 shirt.
In the 2015–16 season, he scored 36 league goals, winning the Capocannoniere title and equalling Gino Rossetti’s 87-year-old record for goals in an Italian top-flight season. As a result of his goal scoring exploits in Naples, Italian champions Juventus signed him for €90 million in 2016, making him the most expensive South American footballer of all time; his transfer fee was the highest ever paid by an Italian team and also the highest of a player transferring within any domestic league.
A full international for Argentina since 2009, Higuaín has represented the country at two FIFA World Cups and as many Copa América tournaments, helping them to second place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2015 Copa América and the Copa America Centurion in 2016.
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