The joke says that only one thing has stopped Leo Messi from becoming the best player in history – Gonzalo Higuain – a footballer trying to change a choking charge
When Juventus paid Napoli €90 million last July to make Gonzalo Higuaín the most expensive South American footballer in history, many scoffed at what was perceived as a colossal waste of money for a striker approaching 30 with a reputation of bottling when the pressure is really on.
Nine months on and Higuaín’s predatory performance in Monaco has left Juve on the brink of the Champions League final and a potentially historic treble but the 29-year-old can’t quite shake his unwanted reputation.
The departures of Carlos Tevez, Paul Pogba, Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo from the Juventus side that were beaten by Barcelona in the 2015 Champions League final would have been enough to derail a lesser club and there were certainly sceptics when the Bianconeri opted to smash the Italian transfer record on Higuain.
With the likes of Paulo Dybala and Miralem Pjanic, Juve have an outstanding supply line; what they wanted was an out-and-out goalscorer and in Serie A there was none better than Higuaín.