Federico Higuain cheers brother Gonzalo on as Argentina enter World Cup Final

IMAGE, MLSSOCCER.COM

HARRISON, N.J. – The anticipation of Sunday’s World Cup Final has surely caused many an Argentine fan to lose sleep in nervous anticipation of what’s to come.

Imagine what it is like for the family of the players?

“I’m very nervous, as an Argentinian, as a fan, and more than anything, as a brother,” Columbus Crew playmaker Federico Higuain tells EOS.

Of course, Federico is the older brother of Real Madrid striker and Argentine National Teamer, Gonzalo Higuain.

Instead of watching on from the beach side city of Rio de Janeiro, the elder Higuain finds himself by the banks of New Jersey’s Passaic River, fresh off of a crushing defeat against the New York Red Bulls.

The disappointment was still fresh in his mind in the lockerroom after the match. However, his emotions turned in an instant when speaking about his brother’s journey to the World Cup Final.

“It’s not easy having your brother in this kind of situation knowing how important this is for Argentina,” he admits. “Hopefully, we have the possibility to be champions and hopefully my brother can raise that trophy. It would be a very nice for the entire family.”

While separated by over 4,800 miles, “Pipa” Higuain has kept in constant contact with his younger brother “Pipita.”

“We speak, usually after the games,” Federico says with a smile. “He is enthusiastic; the kind of enthusiasm any player has ahead of an important game, especially knowing that there is an entire nation behind them that hopes for the best.”

The challenge for Gonzalo Higuain is a daunting one. Argentina face Germany, who are fresh off a 7-1 thrashing of South American superpower, Brazil. The German offense has become one of the most feared units in the entire world. There are no shortage of stars with the likes of Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira leading the way.

Germany’s dismantling of Brazil put the world on notice. Federico Higuain, however, puts perspective to the result.

“Those are games that happen every once in a while,” he explains. “I don’t think Germany, if they play that game again, would put seven goals on Brazil. I think Brazil is a team we respect very much and in the world of football, they are very respected. That’s the way it turned out. Everything went Germany’s way, which is what happens with great teams, and Brazil had no answers for the German game.

“However, I don’t think it’s really that clear that Germany are six goals better than Brazil.”

As he downplays the narrative of the German scoring machine, the Crew “enganche” also tosses cold water on another storyline following this encounter; the meaning of an Argentine victory on Brazilian soil. It is well documented that Argentina and Brazil share perhaps the most contentious rivalry in international football.

That, Federico says, will not play a part in Sunday’s encounter.

“That’s more a case of folklore,” he explains. “There are things in the world of football that shouldn’t take on so much relevance. The World Cup anywhere is the same thing. I don’t think Brazilians care where they won their five World Cups.

“We shouldn’t even focus on Argentina winning a cup in Brazil,” he continues. “It’s the same if they win in Argentina, Brazil, in Europe or Africa.”

Higuain’s focus, like Argentinians worldwide, will be on a victory — something he believes is within reach.

“Finals are difficult. It doesn’t matter who comes in better or who is worse,” he explains. “The finals are like classicos; they are a different kind of game. Hopefully, God willing, we find that luck to win it.”

And seeing his brother score one in the Final certainly wouldn’t hurt either.

“I hope he does!” he says with a smile. “I have confidence in him and the entire selection. Honestly, they have made a good run in the World Cup and hopefully they can cap off this tournament by lifting that Cup that is so prestigious and so important for all of us.

“As a football fan, with my brother in it, and as an Argentine, I hope we win, but we should respect both these two teams who have had a tremendous World Cup.”

RELATED LINKS:

Argentina vs Germany, World Cup Preview, Predictions

  • Dave from Dix Hills

    Can’t wait. Argentina will get spanked though. 3-0. Calling it.