An emotional Gonzalo Higuain has named a brilliant playing career since Inter Miami were eliminated from the MLS playoffs on Monday.
The former Argentina international, who won 75 caps for his country, found himself on the losing side as Miami lost 3-0 to defending champions New York City.
Higuain confirmed his plan to retire earlier this month and was in tears as he left the field as his career, which included spells with Real Madrid, Napoli and Juventus, came to an end.
“I felt that what I loved most at work was over. It’s been half my life, my career, 17 and a half years,” said Higuain, who previously spoke about plans to become a mental health coach, explaining why he was moved to tears.
“Images of my entire career came to my mind — what I lived, what I worked, what I experienced — and I leave very happy because I gave it all up until today. It is most important.
“The dream is over and another life has begun.”
Gracias Totales Gonza pic.twitter.com/XAKC6GWC43
— Inter Miami FC (@InterMiamiCF) October 18, 2022
The six-time national league champion – with three La Liga crowns and three Serie A triumphs – the 34-year-old signed with the MLS club in September 2020.
He made a lasting impression on the club and manager Phil Neville, scoring 29 goals in 67 MLS games.
“He’s leaving the way he should have left, with the goals he’s scored, the joy he’s played with,” said former Manchester United full-back Neville.
“The way he hugged his teammates and carried his teammates is exactly what we expected. I think he can be very proud.
“For any player, moving to MLS is a huge adjustment period, especially if you played in Europe, in the Champions League, to come here. I think it’s a big learning curve if people come here and think it’s going to be easy and it’s not.
“I am proud to have managed it. I think as a club we are proud to have him. He’s leaving at a good time, he helped us make the playoffs and now he can enjoy his retirement. We wish him all the best and we will always be happy for him.”