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'I did not ask to leave... They kicked me out'

Gonzalo Higuain departed Juventus for AC Milan in August, though he would not have done so if it was up to him.

AC Milan striker Gonzalo Higuain.
AC Milan striker Gonzalo Higuain.

AC MILAN STRIKER Gonzalo Higuain feels like he was “kicked out” of Juventus after Cristiano Ronaldo’s signing in July.

Higuain joined Juve for a reported €90 million from Napoli in 2016 and scored 40 Serie A goals across his two seasons at the club, but his signing failed to be the catalyst for Champions League success some hoped it would be.

Juve turned their attentions to Ronaldo in pre-season and managed to lure the Ballon d’Or holder away from Real Madrid, bolstering their already impressive arsenal.

But his signing ultimately meant Higuain was surplus to requirements, paving the way for the Argentina international to join Milan on loan in August in a deal which can be made permanent at the end of the season.

It was never Higuain’s intention to leave Juve, though he insists he holds no grudge towards anyone at the club despite feeling forced out.

“No, mine is a feeling of affection because they treated me very well; team-mates and supporters have given me huge affection,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“But I did not ask to leave. Basically, everyone says it, they kicked me out. At Milan I immediately had a great love and so they convinced me.

“Maybe I knew something had broken, and then they took Ronaldo. The decision to leave was not mine.

“I gave everything for Juventus, I won several titles. After Cristiano arrived, the club wanted to make a qualitative leap and they told me that I could not stay and that they were trying to find a solution. The best solution was Milan.”

Nevertheless, Higuain is enjoying life in Milan ahead of his first derby with Inter and has admiration for coach Gennaro Gattuso.

“I’m only sorry for the ranking [10th in Serie A] because we deserve to be higher,” he said.

“But otherwise I feel at a very good moment of my life, both mentally and professionally. I feel rejuvenated. I love Gattuso – he looks at you and sends you his love for football.”

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