Only in football where you have just made a cool £75 million can there still be a war of words and bitterness. And so this trend has continued it seems with Gonzalo Higuian’s mega £75m move from Napoli to champions Juventus.
At Higuians first press conference he said that the move was mostly down to his failed relationship with outspoken Napoli owner Dino De Laurentis. Higuain said: “ My relationship with him was never good because his way of thinking was not like mine, my choice also came about because he pushed me to make it. Now I’m very happy here and I thank Juve for their great effort to get me.”
Earlier in the week De Laurentis had said that he felt “betrayed” and also felt that the Argentinian international had been ungrateful.
And it goes further than that with Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri also being dismayed with the striker. He said: “ I was expecting at least a phone call, even if it was just for five minutes before he had his medicals but I’m old enough not to be surprised. The lads also expected a farewell. As far as I know, there was nothing.”
From this it seems that Higuain and his agent wanted a fast clean break from the southern Italian team. This breakdown of communication is a sad reflection of the game. On one side Napoli could be seen as the team that saved Higuain’s career. The club bought him from Real Madrid when the Spanish giants saw him as surplus to requirements.
Whilst Madrid have made countless mistakes in the past with selling players, (see Arjen Robben, Samuel Eto’o and Claude Makelele), the feeling was that Higuain had seen his best years. Not so.
Higuain went to Serie A and never looked back, becoming a much better rounded player in the process. In just three seasons he scored 71 goals in 104 league games. This includes 36 last season in a league where defence is still king.
He also won trophies at Napoli both in 2014 the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana. But the league title eluded him. Indeed it has for Napoli since the days of Diego Maradona going back to 1990.
At Juventus Higuain will believe that a club that has won the last 5 Serie A titles will continue to do so and that Higuain can start winning silverware as his goals have obviously suggested. One side note and going back to Maradona is that Higuian has given up by joining Juventus the chance to become Napoli’s all time goal scorer he needed just 25 more goals to do so and he would have got it.
Thing of it is- that stat will be the least on Higuian’s mind as he prepares for the coming season, which should be rather explosive. Turin expects.