Following Real Madrid's 4-2 victory over Osasuna in the 2012/13 campaign's final match, Gonzalo Higuaín confirmed to all that the rumors of him exiting Real Madrid were indeed true. The Argentine had, in fact, been linked with potential moves away from the Bernabéu since the end of last season's campaign.
Higuaín's Real Madrid career, sadly, has been hit or miss at times, both on the pitch and amongst Real Madrid supporters. At its highs, El Pipita's stay at Real Madrid has produced some very memorable goals in important moments. It was his goal at San Mamés a year ago that clinched Real Madrid its first La Liga title since the 2007/08 campaign.
On the other side of the coin is Gonzalo's rather poor efficiency in front of goal in Champion's League competitions. In 48 career European continental appearances, he has only produced 8 goals and 4 assists. It is this paltry statistic that Higuaín's naysayers often point to.
The legacy Higuaín leaves at the Bernabéu is, as I said, a mixed one. But not one person who watched Pipita play could ever question his heart and desire to do his absolute best for los blancos. He was one who always left everything on the pitch and bled white, through and through. For that, I personally am saddened to see him go.
It must be noted that Higuaín did not always have the fullest support from upper management at Madrid. In an age where flashy strikers get the most attention, Gonzalo's bulldog-like playing style seemed to always have to compete with a shinier toy, whether it was in the transfer market rumor mill or in the Madrid dressing room. Pipita compiled a very successful career of his own despite playing alongside the likes of Raúl, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema. He ends his Real Madrid career at 16th on the all-time Real Madrid scoring charts with 122 goals, putting him ahead of Juanito, though Marca have his tally set at 121.
For a player who loves this club as Higuaín does, it is only fitting that his farewell came with him wearing the captain's armband. His future club, likely Juventus at this point, will be receiving a very competent striker. I leave you not with where this journey ended, but rather where it began: Pipita's first ever goal at the Bernabéu at the ripe age of 19...
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courtesy of TmiamiK's YouTube account