Federico Higuain finds peace while playing at a high level for Crew SC

OBETZ, Ohio – It's safe to declare at this point that Federico Higuain will go down as one of the best players to ever wear a Columbus Crew SC jersey.

The Argentine is about to start his 150th MLS match for the club, and has already put himself in elite company by becoming one of the few MLS players to score and assist 50 goals each. He has the third-most goals in team history, the second-most assists and has a place on the all-time leaderboard for most other statistics.

Despite that, Higuain – known affectionately as "Pipa" by most in Columbus – has never played in an MLS All-Star Game, part of the reason he’s consistently considered among the most underrated players in the league.

But Higuain says he doesn’t understand that word and doesn’t “look at what the media says,” especially when it has to do with all-star games and other accolades.

“I’m not a guy that’s, all the time, checking the news or looking at what people are [saying] about me or my team,” he said. “We’re here to play soccer, to do our best and to improve as a player. That’s what I believe. So what people say, I’ll respect of course. But I don’t pay too much attention.”

This year’s game is a bit different, however, with Italian giants Juventus coming to play against this year’s MLS All-Stars. While Higuain is a star in his own right, his younger brother Gonzalo is the star striker for Juventus.

But even considering his brother’s potential involvement in the game, Higuain is not interested in discussing the game, and is instead focused on what's happening with Crew SC.

Higuain said he doesn’t read newspapers, watch television, listen to radio or surf the internet.

He likes to read books – lots of books – but doesn’t even want to reveal his favorite authors because he doesn’t want to be judged for his choices – “that talks about you, when you say, ‘I like this guy.’”

He hasn’t always been that way, though. He said when he was younger, it was harder to tune out the noise. Now, he’s happy and comfortable without hearing any of it.

“When you’re young, you don’t understand too many things,” he said. “Then, when you become a player with some experience, you understand that this is a game, and that people can talk because that’s how life is.”

Now, Higuain said he’s simply content being happy in Columbus, and feels revitalized by playing alongside the younger players on the Crew SC roster. And while he still says he has plenty in the tank, he knows he won’t be playing forever.

“I’m trying to enjoy my career,” he said. “I know the end is coming – not coming soon. I would like to play many, many years more. But you never know, so you have to enjoy it.”