Gonzalo Higuain: “I live to score goals.”

Gonzalo “el Pipita” Higuain is chasing history. He currently is the leading goal scorer in South Africa and hopes to emulate fellow Argentine, Mario Kempes, who won the Golden Boot during the 1978 World Cup. The Real Madrid man was born in France where his father, Jorge, was playing football. He has the dual characteristics of European and South American football: ball control, finesse, physical strength, tactical awareness and technical abilities. Most of all, he has a center forward’s instincts and clinical finishing ability in front of the goal.

During an interview with the Buenos Aires newspaper, Clarin, Higuain discussed his thirst for goals, the importance of winning the World Cup over personal objectives, the upcoming quarterfinal match against Germany, David Villa of Spain and his thoughts about the offensive muscle of his Argentina side.

Lives to Score Goals

El delantero que diga que no le gustaría ser el máximo goleador del Mundial, miente. Yo vivo para eso, para el gol, aunque mi principal objetivo es salir campeón del mundo. Si levantamos la Copa y soy el goleador, bienvenido sea“.

¿De qué serviría salir goleador y no llevar la Copa a la Argentina?

De nada“.


Gonzalo Higuain scoring the second goal for Argentina against Mexico
Gonzalo Higuain scoring the second goal for Argentina against Mexico


“A striker who tells you that he wouldn’t like to be the leading scorer at the World Cup is lying. I live for that, for the goal even if my principal objective is to win the World Cup. If we raise the World Cup trophy and I am the golden boot winner, it is welcome.”

Would it serve you to be the top scorer if Argentina doesn’t lift the trophy?

“It would mean nothing.”

His Thoughts Before the World Cup

Uy, tantas cosas se me vienen a la cabeza. Estar cerca de cumplir un sueño es muy grato. A mí me pone muy contento que mis goles hayan servido para que Argentina esté entre los ocho mejores equipos del mundo con la posibilidad de llegar más arriba.”

“Wow, so many things come into my head. To be close to realize a dream is very pleasant. For me, it makes me very happy that my goals have meant that Argentina is among the eight best teams in the world with the possibility to go further.”


Gonzalo Higuain making his boss, Diego Maradona, very happy
Gonzalo Higuain making his boss, Diego Maradona, very happy

Can Argentina Win the Next Three Games?

Al Seleccionado podrían quedarle tres partidos más. ¿Firmás otros cuatro goles?

Argentina could still have three more games. Will you score four more goals?

Y sí. No sé si en los últimos mundiales hubo algún goleador con ocho tantos. No recuerdo ese dato. Pero sí firmaría y con mucho gusto. Eso significaría que estaríamos jugando la final“.

“And yes. I don’t know if in the last few World Cups if any strikers had eight goals. I don’t remember that figure. But yes, I would score and with much pleasure. That would mean that we would be playing the final.”

Is Argentina v. Germany like a Cup Final?

Y no lo sé porque después de este partido, si te toca pasar, te va a venir otra selección fuerte, con serias pretensiones. Sí es importantísimo este partido para nosotros. Lo tomamos como el más importante hasta ahora“.

“And I don’t know because after this match, if you get through, you are going to come against another strong side with serious aspirations. Yes, this game is very important for us. We take it as the most important up until now.”

On David Villa

David es un gran jugador. Muy completo. Encima, antes de venir a Sudáfrica fue transferido al Barcelona. Llegó a este competencia muy motivado. Pero ojo: también nombré al inglés Rooney y al portugués Cristiano Ronaldo…

“David is a great footballer. Very complete. On top of that, before coming to South Africa, he was transferred to Barcelona. He came very motivated to this competition. But look: I also named the Englishman, Wayne Rooney and the Portuguese, Cristiano Ronaldo.”

Oscar Perez of Mexico can only watch as Gonzalo Higuain celebrates
Oscar Perez of Mexico can only watch as Gonzalo Higuain celebrates

An Animal in Front of Goal

No parece tener apenas 22 años. Habla pausado. Es simple. Amable y centrado. Pero, cuando entra al área, se despoja de todas esas virtudes. Se convierte en un animal del área (así suele llamarlo Maradona). Pero no está solo allá arriba: Messi y Tevez son sus socios.

Esta Selección tiene un poder de gol increíble. Jugar con ellos lo hace todo más sencillo. Pasan los partidos y siento que la ofensiva se va entendiendo cada vez mejor“.


He doesn’t seem only 22 years of age. He speaks deliberately. Focused and kind. But, when he enters the penalty area, these characteristics are stripped away. He changes into an animal in the box (such as Diego Maradona calls him). But he is not alone up front: Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez are his colleagues.

“This team has a goal-scoring prowess that is incredible. To play with them makes everything much easier. Games go by and I feel that the offensive phase is being understood better each time.”

Spanish source: Clarin, July 2, 2010.

Steve Amoia is a freelance writer, editor and translator from Washington, D.C. He writes the World Football Commentaries blog. He has written for AC Cugini Scuola Calcio (Italian soccer school), Football Media, Keeper Skool and Soccerlens.

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