Saturday, March 06, 2010

A Real Bargain

Gonzalo Higuain is the Real deal

Real Madrid's record-busting "New Galactico" signings for the 2009-2010 season reached a headcount of eight new high-priced players, including an outlay of some $80 million for Cristiano Ronaldo, $56 million for Kaka, and $30 million each for Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso. That's $196 million for four players who were supposed to be scorers and playmakers and 24 games into the season and Ronaldo has 13 goals and 3 assists (not bad considering all the games he missed through injury), Kaka has 7 goals and 5 assists, Bezema 7 goals and 3 assists, Alonso 1 goal and 4 assists.

Meanwhile 22-year-old Argentine international Gonzalo Higuain is leading the team with 16 goals and 3 assists in 18 appearances and is averaging a goal every 75 minutes - a rate that puts him well on course to snare the Pichichi "Golden Boot" trophy awarded to La Liga's top scorer. Higuain also led los Blancos last year with 22 goals. Higuain joined Real Madrid from Argentina's River Plate (14 goals in 33 games) on January 1, 2007 for a mere $13 million dollars. Since that time, he's scored 96 goals in 48 appearances. I call that a bargain. Sometimes Real Madrid prez Florentino Perez can't see his forest for the Galactico trees.

Of course, Real Madrid are going to have to renegotiate soon with the hot young striker, as English Premiere League teams in need of a quality striker (like Arsenal!) are putting out feelers as we speak. And Diego Maradona better ensure he's in this year's World Cup side. Higuain was actually born in France (he father played for Brest in France's Ligue 1) and could have played internationally for Les Bleus, who called him up in 2006. (It wasn't until 2007 that he applied for an Argentine passport, and his indecision on whether to play for La Albiceleste - in a passionate and emotional country like Argentina and for a passionate and emotional coach like Diego Maradona - was viewed as a national affront.) So it's not surprisng that he was a late addition to Maradona's national side, but has already scored two goals in two appearances, including one in that crucial 2-1 World Cup qualifier win over Peru. So let bygones be bygones and count your lucky stars, Diego!


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