09 December 2009
Javier Coloma / Translation by realmadrid.com
This has been Higuain's year, which is saying a lot when taking into account the fact that he scored 22 goals last season. Today Higuain celebrates his 22nd birthday, and we can expect a lot more over the years from the versatile striker who has improved his scoring percentage from 19% last year to 30%.
Gonzalo Higuain has passed through several stages since joining Real Madrid. He was first put in the dog house by the press for being too impatient, but it didn't take long for the stiker to become Madridismo's miracle man by scoring important winners such as those against Espanyol (3-4, 2006/07) and Osasuna, the latter of which clinched the league title for the Whites.
Last season was Higuain's breakout year. Having to replace Van Nistelrooy due to the Dutchman's long recovery from injury, Gonzalo scored 22 goals in 2,768 minutes in La Liga. He took 114 shots (one every 24 minutes), created 65 plays in the opponents' box (one every 43 minutes) and was accurate on 19% of his shots on goal. It was no doubt his best season since landing in the Spanish capital.
This year he is having to compete for minutes with players of the likes of Raul, Benzema, Van Nistelrooy and even Cristiano Ronaldo, who is sometimes used as a striker by Pellegrini. Higuain has retreated his standard position on the pitch and stuck alongside the right wing, where he takes less shots on goal than before (one every 33 minutes).
However, his output hasn't decreased and Higuain continues to score goals. He may shoot less than before, but his success rate has increased to a stunning 30%. Last year he scored every 126 minutes, but this season he has lowered that number to 109.
|GONZALO HIGUAIN LEAGUE STATS|
|Total||One every...||Total||One every...|
|Goals||22||126 min.||6||109 min.|
|Shots||114||24 min.||20||33 min.|
|Scoring success rate||19%||
|Plays in box||65||15|