Brasilia, July 6 (IANS): Gonzalo Higuain scored his first goal at the Brazil World Cup here Saturday to help Argentina break the jinx of not making to the semi-finals for 24 years.
Higuain breaks the jinx of Argentina not making to semis
“Higuain started playing in the youth teams and made his debut with River Plate. In December 2006, Real Madrid signed Higuain for 12 million euros from River Plate. In July 2013, Napoli confirmed the signing of Higuain in 40 million euros.”
Since the 1990 World Cup, where Argentina finished runners-up, the South American soccer powerhouse had been unable to break the jinx, reports Xinhua.
They were beaten by Romania, the Netherlands and Germany respectively in the knockout stage. In 2002, they even failed to survive the group.
Only eight minutes into the day’s quarter-final against Belgium, Higuain, who received a deflected pass from midfielder Angel Di Maria, turned quickly and fired a flash shot before the Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois could react. The stunning strike from the top of the area found the side netting at the far post.
Higuain said after the game, Ever since the first game, I’ve been saying that I wasn’t worried, that my first goal would come, and fortunately it came at a crucial time. It’s been a long time since Argentina reached the semi-finals and I’m happy it’s this group of players that managed it, because they deserve it. Now we want to keep going and reach the final.
In the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Higuain scored a hat-trick in Argentina’s 4-1 win over South Korea in their second group match, becoming the third Argentinian to score a hat-trick in the World Cup finals, after Guillermo Stabile in 1930 and Gabriel Batistuta in 1994 and 1998. His goal in the 3-1 win over Mexico in the second round took him to a total of four, and he remained one of the top scorers for Argentina in the tournament.
Higuain was born in Brest, France. 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 naturalised Frenchman. He successfully applied for Argentine nationality in January 2007.
Higuain started playing in the youth teams and made his debut with River Plate. In December 2006, Real Madrid signed Higuain for 12 million euros from River Plate. In July 2013, Napoli confirmed the signing of Higuain in 40 million euros.
So far, Higuain has scored 21 goals from 41 appearances for the Argentinian national team.