Gabriel BATISTUTA on Gonzalo HIGUAIN: “It’s bad luck”

Gabriel Batistuta Argentina

Gabriel BATISTUTA spoke about Lionel Messi, Sergio AGUERO, Gonzalo HIGUAIN and more.

The last player to score for Argentina in a final which they won. It’s been 24 years since Batigol scored twice in the 1993 Copa America final for Argentina against Mexico in the 2-1 win. Speaking in an interview with FIFA.com, the former leading goal scorer for his country gave his opinion on Gonzalo HIGUAIN’s misses in the finals, Lionel MESSI and more. Here’s what he had to say:

The likes of Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain have come in for a lot of criticism in Argentina. What’s your view on that?

“They’ve had a lot of bad luck, especially Higuain. He missed key chances in the three finals (the 2015 and 2016 Copa America finals and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Final). I say it’s bad luck because he was the one who created those three opportunities. It’s not like a team-mate did everything and left him through on goal. His bad luck was that he didn’t put those chances away. Against Germany, for example, he only messed up in front of goal after he’d latched on to a loose ball because he was alert and tuned in, because he did everything a No9 has to do. He did everything right, apart from putting the ball away. If it had happened in another match or in the group phase, nobody would have said anything. In fact, we’d have all praised him for creating the chance in the first place.”

What would you say to Higuain?

“The same thing I’m saying to you now. I did say that to him. I talked to him. I can understand it because I was a No9. But the fans don’t know what goes through your head at a moment like that, especially in that last match against Chile, when he had the ball at his feet for a few yards. You can imagine what was going on. From the moment he gets on the ball till the moment he shoots, he’s picturing in his mind the chance he missed against Germany and the one in the previous final against Chile. All those thoughts make it harder for you. Maybe it would have been easier if he’d got a rebound and hadn’t had any time to think. But that’s football for you.”

There’s something we’d like to clear up. Is it true that you once said you never liked football?

“I did say it, but I was trying to protect myself against the press and the public. I said it, so they’d stop asking me things. I was finding the training all too much. You have to remember I was playing in Italy in the good times. There was a lot of pressure and everyone talked about football all the time, which I found pretty boring. It goes without saying that I love the game, the tactics, the training and everything that happens on the pitch. I wasn’t that excited about football when I was young, but it did become my passion. I ended up living and breathing football. Now, I have difficulty walking because of it, because I gave more than I had to give.”

“The truth is somewhere in between. I love the game and everything that goes with actually playing. What I don’t like so much are the interviews (laughs), the controversy and all the external stuff.”

Were you surprised to see Lionel Messi overtake you as Argentina’s leading scorer?

“I’d seen it coming for five or six years. I actually thought he’d have got there earlier! It’s a record that was close to my heart, but he’s beaten it and that’s that. I broke the record myself back in the day (laughs). It’s what happens.”

Gabriel, did you imagine that the goal you scored against Mexico in the 1993 Copa America would bring Argentina their last title to date?

“No! I thought we would win in 1995 too (laughs). But seriously, no I never imagined it. No way! It’s incredible that Argentina haven’t won anything since then. They’ve always been close. But when we won the Copa America in 1991 it had also been a long time since we’d last won it. Historically I would say it hasn’t been very easy for us.”

What do you think is the reason for that?

“It’s not easy. If you’re looking for reasons, one of them could be that Argentinian players are playing abroad all year. They are playing a lot of matches, much more than players from other national teams. They arrive at the Copa America tired or injured and can’t give 100%. Apart from Brazil, I can’t think of any other team where all 25 of their players are based abroad.”

What are you like as a fan? Did you watch the finals in which Argentina played recently?

“I watch but I’m pretty calm. Of course I’m an Argentina fan and I want them to win. I used to experience all those situations that the Argentinian players were experiencing as if it was me out there, I put myself in their shoes… But now I don’t get so nervous.”

14 Comments

  1. Profile photo of canadien royalcanadien royal

    Sampaoli’s style of play is influenced by that of Bielsa. Both of them prefer playing in a system of 3-4-3. But unlike Bielsa, Sampaoli prefers using a false 9(Sanchez, Jovetic) instead of a powerful traditional n9(Batigol, Crespo, Llorente, Gignac). I think he wanted to test a bit players like Higuain and Icardi and see if he should change his system in order to fit his forwards, if not working, he may go back to solution like Aguero or may use Dybala as false 9, with Messi and Pastore or Lanzini behind him.

  2. Profile photo of CleanballCleanball

    Higuain cannot played under pressure, can’t rely on him thats why RM sacked him off,with the 3 finals is more than enough , we need to lift the trophy

  3. Profile photo of Dfox1942Dfox1942

    Higuain is WEAK-minded who happens to be one of the top 5 best #9s for the past what? 6 Plus years, either one or two top scorer since moving to the Serie A.

    He has gotten progressively worse as time has gone by…….how did he perform in the last qualifiers since Copa? SHIT.

    His mind is broken and we all know it and its time he is put to pasture. Best case scenario is having him ride the bench and hoping never to use his sorry ass…..what a wasted talent on the NT.

  4. Profile photo of waveridewaveride

    Batistuta is the greatest cf i have ever seen. I know that i have said this quite many times ☺ and i am not saying it because of my love for Argentina, on the contrary, he is one of the many reasons i love this team. To me he is the definition of the ultimate cf, his shooting abilities and technique was and still is second to none, i have never seen a striker as clinical in scoring goals as him and i also believe that this kind of 9s are non existent any more.

    As for Higuain, he is no doubt a world class striker, at least for me, but i also think that he has a mental block when he has to score in crucial matches and i can’t say that he is a clinical striker although his stats regarding his club performances indicate the opposite.

    That is why having Icardi in the team is a good idea. Icardi who said that his idol is Bati, doesn’t have the flair, power and stamina Batistuta used to have, but he has a great instict of a pure 9, the movement of a 9 and i don’t know if this will sound funny, but to me even at an age of only 23, he is one of the most clinical strikers currently, something that we have been missing and desperately need. I expect him to be our main striker up front soon.

  5. Profile photo of tmisellatitmisellati

    hig should resign from the national team. he has mental trauma. he can’t score goals when needed. he is choker. it is time for another striker to step in. no more hig and aguero please.

  6. Profile photo of SabellistaSabellista

    Thank you Batigol for saying what I’ve been saying all along on Mundo. We lost because we didn’t create enough chances. He created those chances himself. So what were the midfielders doing that in 120 mins of 2 finals, only 2 self created chances to show for? That explains hiw awful and incompetent as a team, we were under Tata. IMO We didn’t lose because of Higuain misses. But that’s my personal take and my view. Otherwise, I cried babies tears in the 90 final. Therefore I am able to moved on from the losses and hope for our luck to strike in one of the 4 year cycles.

    1. Profile photo of Antonio MontanaAntonio Montana

      Higuain created two chances by positioning and hustle but Lavezzi created that chance for higuain in 2015… second post…against chile… higuain as a professional finisher needs to finish, that simple. But he still has a roster slot on the seleccion because he is a TOP 10 forward In The world

      1. Profile photo of pablo dennisonpablo dennison

        we lost because we did not take our chances and it does not matter how those chances come about it still a chance but in saying that yes we did not create a lot of chances but nor did any of the opposition in 3 finals, romaro was not a busy keeper in 3 finals.

        hig is not a big game player anymore and in the champs lge hes just as unimpressive with 18 goals in 68 matches, personally he needs to go as he lacks speed and thought at the top level games in both the champs lge and internationals and its time to move on from him as it is kun.

        hig n/t finals misses are 2 one on one misses,a pen miss(shootout), an of side goal that was disallowed and a good striker should have done better to stay onside and a last min miss from a bad ball from lav but tight angle but hig should have done better with.

      2. Profile photo of SabellistaSabellista

        It was a bad pass from Lavezzi. In fact it looked more like a missed far post attempt rather than a square ball. Higuain made it look like a chance by trying to connect with it. That’s what Batistuta is talking about.

        1. Profile photo of pablo dennisonpablo dennison

          agreed it was a shite pass but when you are on top of your game as hig was back then hig could have and should have done better then he did, just watch the same player for Napoli and also juv in the last few seasons and he was banging goals, for fun from all angles.
          the tragic thing about all of those chances (no matter how they came about they are still chances ) is hig failed to make the keeper work at all.

          on the pass my self at the time I was thinking why did lav not just go for goal and yes hid cross/pass was poor.

          1. Profile photo of SabellistaSabellista

            😃😃 You’re really done with Higuain. Anyway, I think Icardi will be the starting no9 very soon. But I expect Aguero to make a case for himself too. Kun also suffered a lot from the outdated tactics of Tata and Bauza. But I’ve a feeling he might thrive in the new system. However, Sampa was singing the praises of Icardi even without playing a minute. So I expect Icardi to become the striker in chief.

          2. Profile photo of pablo dennisonpablo dennison

            i agree and i feel at least he will give icardi a chance and also agree the tactics (or lack of) for kun were not at all to what his game is about and that is the total fault of bozo and tata.

            kuns game could well suit what samp is trying to do and ive read kun will be getting another chance (as a number 9) as he is still fast and mobile with a good eye for goal but as you stated he needs the correct tactics to suit his game.

  7. Profile photo of GonzaloGonzalo

    Is there any sense in analizing Higuain’s chokes 100 times? Very hot topic. Better find better striker while he is not good even in NT friendlies recently.

    1. Profile photo of chalzchalz

      Well said

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