Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuain has had “a lot of bad luck” with his crucial missed chances in finals, according to Gabriel Batistuta.
Higuain has often been criticised for his wastefulness in big matches, namely Argentina’s losses in the 2014 World Cup final and the 2015 and 2016 Copa America deciders.
But Batistuta, who scored 54 goals for Argentina during his career, feels Higuain – and to a lesser extent Sergio Aguero – has been unfortunate with the national team.
“They’ve had a lot of bad luck, especially Higuain. He missed key chances in the three finals,” he told FIFA 1904.
“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 number nine 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.”
Aguero has scored 34 goals for Argentina to be fourth all-time alongside Diego Maradona, while Higuain has netted 31.
Batistuta believes the missed opportunities are now playing on Higuain’s mind with the national team.
“I can understand it because I was a number nine,” he said.
“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 until 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.”
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