Featured Match: Juventus 2-1 Fiorentina
Do you know what €90 million euros could buy you? It could get you 339,662 tickets to Glastonbury, or 31 McLaren P1s’s. It could even cover the price for the most expensive season tickets at Manchester United for over 81,000 years.
This is the price Juventus paid for the services of Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain from Serie ‘A’ rivals Napoli this summer.
Massimiliano Allegri has had a rather successful transfer window; bringing in Dani Alves on a free from Spanish Champions Barcelona, Miralem Pjanic from Roma and Mehdi Benatia from German champions Bayern Munich respectively.
However, none were as extortionate as Higuain. The 28-year old scored an incredible 36 goals in 35 games for Gli Azzurri last season, before moving to Turin.
His potent finishing alerted the likes of Arsenal this summer, and although he enjoyed his time in Naples; the Argentine felt he needed to move in order to win trophies.
But we all know Arsene Wenger as one who is cautious, and only throws the cash at players he feels will deliver consistently on the pitch. He obviously felt that Higuain didn’t fit the bill.
But one thing quite noticeable was the weight the striker had put on over the summer.
Barraged by comments about his weight, Higuain was adamant he would silence those critics and produce the goods for Juve when the season begun.
Allegri didn’t start him against Fiorentina at Juventus Stadium; and when he came on, there was a shock on the cards.
Former Blackburn Rovers frontman Nikola Kalanic had cancelled out Sami Khedira’s opener with just 20 minutes to play, with the Champions very much in the driving seat from the first minute.
With just his third touch, Higuain restored the Juventus lead with a poachers goal. The chance was a difficult one, with only a small window of opportunity presenting itself in front of him.
But without the weight of the price tag holding him down, or the weight of the comments about his physical condition, the 28-year old slotted home to spark wild scenes in the Juventus crowd.
He had answered those who questioned his attitude to the league and the game. He answered those who questioned the valuation of his services.
That’s why he cost the amount he did. He will win games for you when a win seems unlikely. He could single handedly carry you through a tough period and remain well on course for success.
He clawed the three points back for a Juventus side who lacked predatory aspects. Instead of striking their pray after going ahead, they decided to wither back into their cave and let Fiorentina come out and put up a brave fight.
Without Higuain, Juventus could have found themsleves starting the campaign slowly once again.
12 months ago, the Champions lost their opening game of the season. This season, they started with a win, a win thanks to the man who cost €90 million euros.
Atalanta 3-4 Lazio
Bologna 1-0 Crotone
Chievo 2-0 Inter Milan
Empoli 0-1 Sampdoria
Genoa 3-1 Cagliari
Milan 3-2 Torino
Palermo 0-1 Sassuolo
Pescara 2-2 Napoli
Roma 4-0 Udinese.