MLS Insider: Tom Bogert

El retiro? Inter Miami's Gonzalo Higuain clarifies "misunderstanding" on future

Despite reports circulating that Inter Miami CF forward Gonzalo Higuain will be retiring after the 2022 season, the player himself has stressed no decision has been made.

Higuain’s father, Jorge, gave an interview with TNT Sports in their native Argentina and said, flatly, his son would be retiring after this season.

Then after Tuesday's training session, Gonzalo was asked directly about that interview and refuted his father’s remarks. He also added that the only source you’ll need to hear from on his future is Gonzalo himself.

"It was a misunderstanding he had with me," Higuain told media in Spanish. "I never told him I was retiring. He misspoke, and that can happen, but this is very far from reality. I am focused on my club, on fulfilling my contract and when the time comes, if that decision is made, I will be the one communicating it, only me."

Gonzalo Higuain Inter Miami
Gonzal Higuain crosses the ball vs. Houston Dynamo FC.

Higuain, 34, joined Miami during the summer of 2020 from Italian Serie A giants Juventus and has embarked upon a mixed experience in MLS. He has 15 goals and 12 assists in 44 appearances, though Miami have found minimal success during his time at the club. Higuain was the third-highest paid player (guaranteed compensation) in MLS in 2021, according to salary figures released by the MLS Players Association.

He is under contract through the 2022 season, his final guaranteed year with Inter Miami. The Herons have a club option for 2023. If Higuain retires, or the Floridian club declines his contract option, it would open another Designated Player spot for the rebuilding Eastern Conference side.

"Obviously, I’m close to that time in which I’ll stop playing fútbol, but that’s not on my mind at the moment," Higuain said. "What’s on my mind is fulfilling my contract and then I will analyze how I feel and I will sit down with the club to make the best decision. Right now I feel good and I just wanted to clarify this, and when the time comes it will be me that communicates my decision.”

Miami currently have two players occupying DP spots, though only Higuain is on the roster. Mexican international midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro, on loan at Liga MX's CF Monterrey, is still technically occupying a DP slot due to Miami not receiving a loan fee as part of the deal. The third DP was French World Cup-winning midfielder Blaise Matuidi, though the club bought him out prior to the season starting as he transitioned into an ambassador role with Inter.

Gonzalo Higuain MIA black jersey
Gonzalo Higuain takes a shot vs. Austin FC.

Inter Miami are likely to be in the market for a DP this summer, with sporting director Chris Henderson addressing as much in the offseason. Miami have endured a difficult start to the 2022 campaign, losing four of their first five matches despite not yet playing a team that made the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in 2021. Their goal difference is negative-10, with Higuain scoring twice from the penalty-kick spot.

“When the moment comes, I will be the first person to communicate it, the first one to say it,” Higuain said. “But at this moment my focus is on this club and fulfilling my contract.”

Higuain joined Real Madrid from Argentina's River Plate in 2007 as a rising talent and stayed with the Spanish giants until 2013, scoring 121 goals. He left for Napoli, where he had 91 goals and 26 assists in 146 matches before signing with Juventus. He had 31 goals in 75 caps with the Argentine national team, plus has featured for AC Milan and England's Chelsea.

Federico Higuain, Gonzalo’s older brother, retired this offseason and was honored by the Columbus Crew this past weekend, signing a ceremonious one-day contract to officially retire with the club. Federico, 37, is an assistant coach at MLS NEXT Pro side Inter Miami CF II.