Friday, September 2, 2011

Gonzalo Higuain

Gonzalo Higuain

Gonzalo Gerardo "El Pipita" Higuaín (Spanish pronunciation born 10 December 1987) is a French-Argentine professional footballer. He was born in France, attaining Argentine citizenship in 2007, and now holding dual nationality. He currently plays as a Striker for Real Madrid and the Argentine national team.
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 older brothers, Nicolas and Federico and one younger brother, Lautaro His mother, Nancy Zacarías, is an artist.
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 Higuain had an "enormous future" and was "destined for superstardom." In the following season, he scored eight goals in 17 league matches.
In December 2006, Spanish club Real Madrid signed Higuaín for €13 million, after River Plate had earlier turned down a €10 million offer for the 19-year-old striker. His debut came on 11 January 2007 against Real Betis in the second round of the Copa del Rey in Seville. His presentation at the League came 3 days later, on 14 January 2007, against Real Zaragoza at home. Higuain 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 Atletico Madrid in the Madrid derby, scoring the tying goal (1–1) at the Estadio Vicente Calderón. Later on the season, Higuaín showed an impressive performance by scoring a last minute goal on a league match against RCD Espanyol to earn his team a 4–3 victory when the tie was rampant on the scoreboard. However, during his first season in the Bernabeú, Higuaín arose some doubts over his performance due to his lack of goals.
During the 2007–08 season, Higuaín faced a rather intermittent performance. Yet, during the last stages of the league he managed to consolidate an impressive display. He first scored a last minute goal to earn his team a victory in a 2–1 comeback against Osasuna, which allowed Real Madrid to be mathematically crowned League Champions for the second consecutive year.Four days later, Pipita arose to the spotlight once more by scoring the 3rd goal of a 4–1 trashing over Barcelona in El Clásico. This performance was particularly praised due to Higuaín scoring his goal barely 57 seconds after coming in from the bench.
In the 2008–09 season Higuaín was offered the chance to be a starter due to the serious injury suffered by the Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy. On 21 April 2009, he accounted another great performance when he defined the match against Getafe with a goal in the last minute, giving Real Madrid a 3–2 victory which enabled the team to follow the trail of Josep Guardiola´s Barcelona. In August 2008, Higuaín scored the winner in Madrid's victory over Valencia in the Spanish Supercup. Shortly afterwards, he scored all four goals in a 4–3 win against Málaga. Because of this, he started to gain international recognition, at the same time he got to be one of the leading goalscorers of the Spanish League, alongside his Barcelona counterpart, Samuel Eto'o. That season, the striker was devoted as one of the great promises of world football in the wake of spectacular games, and particularly dazzling last-minute goals. Higuaín ended the season with 22 league goals,24 in all competitions, shining alongside longtime football stars like Diego Forlán, David Villa and Thierry Henry.
In June 2010, Real Madrid extended Higuaín's contract until 2016.On 23 October 2010, he scored Real Madrid's 5200th league goal, against Racing Santander on a 6–1 trashing by the Whites. On 4 November of the same year, Gonzalo entered the history of Real Madrid by being the scorer of the club's 700th goal in the Champions League.

On the first weeks of December 2010, Higuaín was diagnosed with a herniated lumbar disc, and was suggested by Real's medical staff to have it operated. On 5 January 2011, Real Madrid announced he would finally undergo surgery at the Department of Neurological Surgery of Chicago's Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine under the command of Dr. Richard G. Fessler, M.D.The surgery took place on 11 January, and Higuaín was discharged from the hospital the next day following a successful operation. He was expected to spend at least four months away from the field in the recovery process. Two months spent to recover from the surgery and another two to train with the team, however he was able to make an early comeback. On 23 April 2011, Higuaín scored a hat-trick against Valencia CF in a 3–6 away win in Estadio Mestalla, giving him 8 goals in 8 matches against Valencia. Higuaín also assisted two other goals for Karim Benzema and Kaká in that same match.

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