Critics no longer hurt Higuain as Chelsea striker learns to ignore detractors

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The Argentina frontman admits to having hidden in the past when thrust under the microscope, but is now turning a deaf ear to anyone writing him off

Gonzalo Higuain has faced plenty of criticism across spells at the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus and Chelsea, and with the Argentina national side, but he claims “nothing hurts” him anymore.

There was a time when the South American striker would hide away when seeing his performances and value called into question.

Despite being a prolific presence throughout his career, Higuain has suffered the odd dip – particularly in the colours of his country.

At 31 years of age he has slipped into international retirement and admits that he has learned to turn a deaf ear to those eager to write him off.

Higuain told ESPN Argentina: "I always regretted hiding, not going out on the street for fear of what people might say.

"There are people who cause so much pain and do so many bad things and yet they go out there showing their faces without shame,

"And we, who don't kill anyone, who do things well, who only play a sport, why can't we go out? Once I started to understand this, I started to go out, to live life more. I am grateful for it because life just goes by and suddenly you are 40 or 50 and you can't go back. I live better."

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Higuan added on the criticism he faced on the back of failed title bids with Argentina at the 2014 World Cup and successive Copa America final defeats in the following years: "I suffered. Even if you don't look at social media, it still reaches you. I'm now at a stage in my life when nothing hurts.

"I've played in the best leagues, the best teams, in three World Cups and in the Copa America. It no longer affects me what people say. I have overcome it. When I was young, I didn't imagine that I would achieve 10 percent of what I have. Why am I going to worry what they say?"

Higuain is seeing his future speculated on once again after failing to make the expected impact during a loan spell at Chelsea.

He is not overly concerned about what the summer will bring though, with there a confidence on his part that he will retain an important role at a leading club side.

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"I know that if I want, I can return to any club where I've played," said a man who cut short a stint at AC Milan in January to complete a short-term switch from Juventus to Chelsea.

"That is something that fills me with pride.

"I'm a good person and I've always done well wherever I've gone. I want people to love me for being a good person, for who I am, not for how many titles I've won."

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