Chelsea’s new striker, Gonzalo Higuain, has revealed he almost quit football, when his mother took ill three years ago.
Higuain, who is set to make his debut at Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening, says that his move to England almost never happened, had he had final say on his future back in 2016.
While the 31-year-old was playing for Argentina in the Copa America, his mum, Nancy, was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition.
The family decided to keep it a secret from Higuain, who admitted his first thought on hearing the news was to hang up his boots for good.
“I decided immediately that I must stop playing football so that I could look after my mum.
“I suspected something was wrong at home during the Copa America, but it was still a huge shock when I was told the truth.
“I felt guilty, because I played in that final without knowing. My whole world came crashing down in that moment.
“I was not interested in anything else but my mum. I told her I was finished with football and if it had been down to me I would have stopped playing.
“Her reply was that when I played football it made her happy. She told me that she would not allow me to give up something I loved. She asked me to carry on for her — and I knew I had to grant that wish.
“My family and friends are everything to me. After that, comes football. People need to understand that. They see you kick a ball and they don’t think you have anything to think about outside the game,” Higuain said, according to the UK Mirror.