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Gonzalo Higuain admits MLS is much tougher than he expected it to be

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When Gonzalo Higuain signed with Inter Miami in 2020, he initially thought his time in Major League Soccer would be a cakewalk.

Almost one year later, as the Inter Miami striker battles through his second season, Higuain now understands just how wrong he was.

Higuain admitted to underestimating MLS in a recent interview with Bobo TV — a Twitch stream program hosted by retired Italian forward Christian Vieiri — saying he has found the league to be tougher than originally expected.  The Argentine striker signed with Inter Miami as a Designated Player last fall and had trouble finding his top form in his first season with the team. Higuain finished with one and two assists in nine matches.

“To tell you the truth, I thought that I could have played with a cigarette here,” said Higuain. “I struggled at first because it is a difficult league. I have learned that it is similar to Italian football. In Italy, football is a battle and here it is the same thing. It is a league that you have to understand to succeed, it is new to me and it is very physical.

“All the teams that win here have a strong American core that understands the league. I struggled at first. I am starting to get to know the league better, but you will struggle if you are not physically fit.”

Higuain, 33, is off to a better start in his second MLS campaign. The occasional Inter Miami captain has scored four times and assisted on one other goal in seven appearances, but that has not stopped the team from enduring a poor 2-4-2 start that has the Herons sitting in 11th place in the Eastern Conference.

While Higuain might have envisioned a different beginning to his time on the field in South Florida, he has enjoyed life off of it. He wanted a change of scenery after leaving Italian heavyweight Juventus, and Inter Miami has given him just that.

“I will tell you the truth. I was not finding the passion and the fight outside of the soccer field,” said Higuain. “I felt I had nothing left to give. My good friend (Gianluigi) Buffon told me, ‘If you do not feel the fire inside you to go to training and that drive to keep playing at the highest level, you have to leave.’

“I was not feeling that anymore and I wanted to feel calm. Football has given me a lot, I gave it a lot, but it was time to leave and find a new passion and a different type of football in a city that has sincerely surprised me because it is marvelous.”

Comments

  1. I don’t really blame the players coming here for underestimating it. I think that’s what they’re sold by the ownership groups and front office suits – come to MLS, bring star power, and make us money. It’s hard to think any manager in MLS, even Neville, is chomping at the bit for an almost-retired Higuain. That said, so long as they roll their sleeves up and play hard (as Higuain seems to be doing, as Zlatan did, like Beckham did, like Keane, as Vela does, etc.) then I’m fine with their initial expectations being shattered. It’s clear they’re being sold something that isn’t quite the reality, but so long as they don’t pull a Rafa Marquez, Mista, Denilson, etc. and take tons of money to do nothing, pout, and sully their locker rooms with their superiority complexes, then I’m good with it. I really appreciated the work Gerrard, Keane, Becks, Blanco, Giovinco, Thierry Henry, Juan Pablo Angel, David Villa, etc. always seemed to put in week in and week out, even when it was clear that they may have thought the league was going to be an easier haul. Even Lampard impressed me once he got fit, and Zlatan (comments and whole mess of a persona aside) was more than worth the money. All in all, I think the big names have largely worked out and think it’s been more rare than not for them to just dial it in.

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  2. Tired of these “stars” coming here and underestimating the league…i’m not saying MLS is a top league in the world but it is competitive and one must be ready to play…it’s disrespectful to come here and not be prepared to work….

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  3. After reading this…he needs to retire. He can still go to “be calm” on South Beach if he’s retired. It sounds like that’s why he is in Miami anyway.

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  4. I may be reading too much into it, but if I were a Miami fan I would be less than thrilled that it sounded like he no longer had the drive to train hard and play at a high level so he came over here lol. Being realistic I know plenty have thought that but still…

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