The dream is over, says Higuain after final match
Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain left the field for the final time on Monday ending an illustrious career that saw him win titles in Spain and Italy and reach the World Cup final with his country.
Higuain's final match was a defeat for his Inter Miami side to defending champions New York City in the Major League Soccer playoffs ending any hopes he had of bowing out with another trophy.
"The dream is over, now another life begins," Higuain told a post-match press conference.
The 34-year-old had already announced that he would retire at the end of this season but the campaign ended earlier than he hoped with a 3-0 defeat at Citi Field, the home of baseball team the New York Mets.
Higuain had a first half effort disallowed for offside but Miami were convincingly beaten and the former Real Madrid and Juventus forward crouched down in silence for several minutes after the final whistle.
"I felt like that what I loved I had ended," he said when explaining his emotions during those moments of contemplation.
"It has been half my life, a career of 17 years and images from throughout my entire career came into my mind. I am leaving very happy though because I gave it my all right up until today and that is the most important thing," he said.
"Now a new stage of my life begins, I am leaving what I loved the most but having given my all my conscience is clean and I am going to enjoy what is coming next, my partner, my daughter, my family, my friends and I am looking forward to that," he said.
Higuain said his biggest pride was in having been a "good person with good values" throughout his career and said that quality was more important than any success on the field.
Having made his mark with River Plate in his homeland, Higuain won three La Liga titles with Real Madrid, scoring 107 goals in 190 games before moving to Napoli and netting 71 goals in 104 appearances. He later joined Juventus and won two domestic doubles in his first two seasons.
Higuain scored 31 goals in 75 appearances for Argentina and helped them reach the World Cup final in 2014 and the 2015 Copa America final.
The forward, said he had no intention of following the footsteps of his brother Federico who also ended his career in MLS and now coaches at Inter Miami, but said he would be interested in working in "mental coaching."
"It is the most important part of the game. You can have all the skill and all the talent but if you aren't right mentally, it doesn't count for much," he said.