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Higuain against his monsters

Retrace the Pipita's worst night in Italy

Higuain against his monsters Retrace the Pipita's worst night in Italy

There is a picture of this summer that portrays one of the few moments of Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo together at Juventus. Both are smiling: Higuain does not seem to be a problem for Cristiano Ronaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo does not seem to be a problem for Gonzalo Higuain. On the contrary: they look like two old friends ready to start the umpteenth soccer game together on Friday evening, after a tiring week. Higuain and Ronaldo show their thumbs in approval, both seem perfectly at ease.

After a few months, Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo met against at San Siro: the Argentine with the new Milan shirt, the Portuguese with the bianconera. The same one that Higuain did not want to change. Many on his arrival at Milan have noticed little enthusiasm on the part of Pipita, who smiled but not too much, that was happy but not too much. Then the championship started, Higuain began to drag Milan and Ronaldo Juventus. Arrived at the San Siro clash, both had been equally decisive for their new teams.

Higuain kept a lot of this game, probably too much. Impossible to get into his head, but attitudes in the field have at least partially revealed all the tension that the Argentine had in his body. Probably it was not a desire for redemption against Juventus, but a sort of self-ransom, a reaffirmation of power, a sentence shouted to heaven, in Italian with an Argentine accent: "I'm still there". Higuain wanted to prove to Milan, but also to Juventus, to be still decisive.

At 39th minute of the first half, served by a pass from Suso, Higuain anticipated in the Benatia area that touched the ball with his hand. The Argentine immediately raised his arm, furious, unleashed, seeing in that impact the glimmer of revenge: the penalty, the goal, his reaffirmation. Would he be exultant or not? If so, how would he do it? Rabid or calm? Or a small, narrow fist, or a smile of serenity, or a look towards the forum, or nothing, just the placid tranquility of those who have put things right.


There was none of this. Kessié, Milan's first rigorist, also tried to approach the Argentine, probably to ask him to kick the penalty. Even Castillejo intervened at that moment, taking away the Ivorian. At that point Higuain stood alone against his monsters, once again: Szczesny approached him with a mocking sneer to distract him and put even more pressure on him; a former Juventus comrade probably made a joke, because Higuain let slip a half smile before turning around and looking at the door; the Polish guy, to try to put even more pressure on him, showed him the corner where he would have thrown himself. Higuain did not trust, he left, he kicked right there, to defeat everything that was going against him at that moment. Without success. Szczesny threw himself on that side and touched the ball, which then ended up on the post and moved away inexorably from the door. Framed by the cameras, Higuain had the face of someone who has just received incredible news, a disappointment difficult to explain. The Argentine then simply faced reality: "He touched it".


Milan remained under the score. In the rest of the game the Rossoneri have tried to overturn the result, they pushed and attacked, but never managed to really break through. The same Higuain repeatedly lowered to build the action, he fought against all those monsters of the first, to which he had added the weight of a wrong penalty. The Argentine's back for 83 minutes managed to bear the weight of the sum of his mistakes, of the smile of Ronaldo, of the team that let him leave, of the defeat of his team. To the mountain on the shoulders of Higuain was then added the umpteenth grain of the bianconero doubling signed by Ronaldo, which completely extinguished Milan's enthusiasm. At that point the castle of cards that Higuain had struggled so much to keep standing collapsed all together under the eyes of San Siro.

At '83 the Argentine has engaged an air duel with Benatia, the Moroccan had the worst and remained on the ground in pain. Mazzoleni approached Higuain and pulled out the yellow card. At that point Higuain went crazy: he began to rant against the referee, who at that moment represented everything that Higuain had endured. The monsters concentrated in a fluo yellow coat, the blind rage, the repeated screams, the arms that cleave the air straight and decided, the fury concentrated on the deformed face.


Mazzoleni then pulled out the red card directly, and the anger of Higuain was mixed with the fumes of absolute amazement: "What are you doing?", Asked the Argentine seeing the referee putting his hand to the red and waving him in the face.


A bull in front of the cloak, red as the card: Higuain came out of his head, he shouted even louder, pushed away anyone approached him, comrades, former companions, friends, enemies, opponents, wrong penalties, disappointments, the Ronaldo's smile in that picture of a few months before.

Then he burst into tears, a cry of liberation and condemnation at the same time, an immense and inconsolable paradox. Among all the reactions, among all the tackles of love and the embraces received by the Argentine, the most beautiful demonstration of affection remains that of Matuidi: the Frenchman has approached his former teammate and gave him a kiss in head, like a father who gives goodnight to his son and tells him that there is no monster under his bed.


That was goodnight for Higuain, who then disappeared in the locker room tunnel, putting an end to one of the most intense and troubled human affairs seen recently on a Serie A field. 

About a year ago, Leonardo Bonucci as Milan captain was sent off against Genoa, remedying two days off. From his return onwards the level of his performances has risen: after returning after two days of disqualification, the defender declared to have left the media case behind him and to have taken some responsibility. 

The Milan fans hope that the same can happen to Higuain, who will have to face his monsters again, this time away from the field. He, meanwhile, has already apologized to everyone, placing the first brick of his new castle on the ground, in the hope that in the future it will not be swept away by a whisk of cards.