A few weeks ago, Kylian Mbappé (22) spoke of his report to the pressure weighing on his shoulders in France. Another fairly strong testimony comes to us from Argentina this Wednesday. In a long interview given to La Nacion, Gonzalo Higuain (33) also confided in his way of living with the pressure. “The price to pay for belonging to the elite is very high. People say to themselves: « Higuain, with all the money he has, what is he complaining about? He is in good health, he has his daughter and he lives where he wants … » Yes, but since he was old. 9-year-old Higuain breaks his ass to make sure everything goes well. The money I have did not fall from the sky, I earned it every day, with my sweat. Money helps, yes, but it doesn’t buy happiness. You can have all the money in the world, but if you’re a bad guy, who do you share it with? You are alone. It is dearly paid … « , he said before continuing.
“I’ve played for Real Madrid, Naples, Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, Juventus again and you share your birthdays and Christmas parties with different partners. Your real friends, you hardly ever see them, the same for your parents… You must eat the criticisms of the press – not all the press, I learned to make a difference – and the criticisms of the supporters… Everyone judges you, and no longer just footballistically, because that has changed in recent years. We judge you by how you look, if you’re fat, skinny, bald… I shaved my head and grew a beard and it was another revival around the world, but no one wonders if I’m still playing well. You shave your head and you make the news… It also speaks of the importance that you have. But yes, the price to pay is high, but you live with it and I always knew it would happen. I can’t say I was surprised « , Pipita said.
Today, alongside Blaise Matuidi at Inter Miami, David Beckham’s Major League Soccer franchise, the international albiceleste (75 caps, 32 goals) is far from all that. And this is not frankly to displease him. “The other day, I was thinking about everything that was behind me, the years of demands, of responsibilities, of moves, of changes of country, which, whether you like it or not, destabilize you. The truth is that now I feel very, very happy because I got what I wanted, I got out of this bubble of pressures, of demands, of the press that talks about you all the time, pressure from supporters. Here, it’s something else, football is not a priority, there are other sports that are under this pressure. The league is growing and will continue to grow. But here, people on the street don’t judge you because you made a mistake or scored a goal, because you were substituted or not. Same with the press ”, he explained before adding.
The Argentinian scar
“So, I’m fine. This is what I was looking for. Something new to me. Now I stand in line like everyone else, I’m back to being a normal person here. At times, you are surprised. But I am very happy because I am happy, happy with the decision that I made. Some people look at you, look at your file on their phone to be sure, maybe a Latino Real Madrid fan, but if they run into you it’s always with incredible respect and always offer me words of gratitude and congratulations. Nobody yells at you, they respect your moment. If you are with your daughter, no one approaches you. They wave to you, period « , he continued.
A bit bitter towards a world of football that he does not want to find once the studs are hung up (he wants to specialize in gastronomy and oenology), the striker still hopes to have left a small mark in the rich history of the football in his country, despite the sometimes harsh criticism. “Until 2014, I was the best No. 9 in the world, and after the defeat against Germany in the World Cup final, it all ended. To get there, I had nine goals in the playoffs, which nobody remembers, because we must not forget that you have to put these goals there to play a World Cup ”, he slipped, still hurt …
“But everything will be enhanced over time, I think we will have a hard time playing a World Cup final again. It is not easy to go to the World Cup, to play it and to go to the final. Over time, we will give more value to what I have done, I have no doubt, but then none. But it is still early days, we have to let time pass and we will realize it. In three Worlds, I scored goals that count, in the final phase, against Mexico in South Africa in 2010 and against Belgium in Brazil in 2014 ”, he launched before concluding. “Now, I no longer pay attention to criticism, criticism, you can say what you want about me. Before, it hurt me, I will not lie, I will not be sincere, I suffered and I had a lot of pain. (…) But I’m at a point where I don’t care about “what will we say?”. I don’t listen anymore ”.