'I thought I could play with a cigarette in my mouth! - Higuain admits to being surprised by standard of MLS

Gonzalo Higuain Inter MiamiGetty Images

Gonzalo Higuain has admitted to being surprised by the high standard of football in MLS, having originally thought he could play in the competition "with a cigarette" in his mouth.

Higuain came to a crossroads in his career when his contract at Juventus was mutually terminated last summer.

The Argentine reportedly had plenty of offers to remain in Europe, but choose to undertake a new challenge with Inter Miami, initially believing he could shine in the United States without having to play to his maximum level.

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What's been said?

Higuain has since found out that MLS is just as competitive as Serie A, as he said during an interview on Christian Vieri's Twitch channel Bobo TV: "I thought I would come here and play with a cigarette in my mouth and, instead, it is difficult.

"It is a tough league. I learned that it is similar to Italian football.

"In Spain and England it is easier to do well, while in Italy, if you do not know the league, you suffer."

Higuain's record at Inter Miami

Higuain committed his future to Inter Miami through to 2022 after leaving Juventus, but made the worst possible start by missing a penalty on his debut as the David Beckham-owned franchise lost 3-0 to Philadelphia Union in September.

The 33-year-old has since appeared in six more MLS games, redeeming himself by scoring four goals, including two in a thrilling 3-2 victory over FC Cincinnati in May.

Why did Higuain leave Juve?

Higuain returned to Juve ahead of the 2019-20 campaign after a brief loan spell at Chelsea, and managed to contribute eight goals and four assists to their Serie A cause in 32 outings as they picked up a ninth successive Scudetto.

The Argentina international was no longer a regular starter, though, and with his private life also proving to be unfulfilling, he sought advice from Bianconeri team-mate Gianluigi Buffon over his future.

"I couldn't find the right determination and serenity outside of football. I had nothing more to give," Higuain said of his decision to depart Turin. "A great friend of mine like Buffon told me: 'If you no longer feel that fire inside in training, if you no longer feel the determination to be at high levels, you have to go'.

"Football gave me a lot but it was time to say enough and find joy and fun and new football in a city that surprised me because it was wonderful."

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