Higuain gets Basile brush-off

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Soccer -

Gon­zalo Higuain has scored a bucket-loads of goals for River Plate, Real Madrid, Napoli and, these days, Ju­ven­tus. But there is a chance he re­mains haunted by a mo­ment in Ar­gentina’s 2014 World Cup fi­nal de­feat to Ger­many, which was de­cided by Mario Gotze’s ex­tra time win­ner. Re­mem­ber? From the BBC: “Toni Kroos de­liv­ered a mis­placed header that sent Higuain clear on goal but the striker did not live up to his el­e­vated rep­u­ta­tion with a hor­ri­ble mis­cued fin­ish that did not trou­ble Neuer.”

You would, of course, hope that his com­pa­tri­ots would be sym­pa­thetic and not give him a hard time about the mo­ment. Com­pa­tri­ots like for­mer Ar­gentina coach Al­fio Basile whose au­to­bi­og­ra­phy is just out.

How kind was he to Gon­zalo? Not very. “The chance he missed is what cost us the ti­tle. It’s dif­fi­cult to ex­plain what hap­pened to him, be­cause sud­denly he was un­marked, had the ball at his feet and was 20 me­tres from goal with ev­ery op­tion open to him and could place the ball any­where, but in­stead the mist de­scended and he fired it wide . . . he was weighed down by the re­spon­si­bil­ity of real­is­ing he was about to score the goal that gave Ar­gentina the World Cup and would gain im­mor­tal­ity.”

And? “It’s not good to say that he soiled him­self, but that’s ba­si­cally what hap­pened.”


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