The Chicago Fire and Inter Miami played to a 0-0 draw to open the MLS season and winger Fabian Herbers had a few things to say when looking back at the match. Speaking on Zee Soccer Podcast, which he shares with Julian Gressle of DC United, Herbers came out firing when asked if he got Gonzolo Higuain’s jersey.
Herbers said, “This guy’s so pathetic. I don’t know, just, I mean, obviously he’s a presence on the field, and every time like a teammate of his makes a wrong pass or something or doesn’t pass the ball exactly to him, he’s just standing there, looks at him in his, like, negative mood, and just making like his by his whole body language is just terrible.”
Since coming to MLS, Higuain has had a tough time, losing the captaincy of Inter Miami to Gregore and learning that MLS is a tough league to integrate into. Speaking on Twitch in June of 2021 Higuain said, “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.”
Perception matters, and when you’re a designated player you are held to a different standard as one of the three highest-paid players on your team. Considering his thoughts coming into MLS, Higuain didn’t take things seriously coming into the league leading to only scoring one goal and assisting two more during the 2020 season. Things did improve under Phil Neville last year as Higuain scored 12 goals and assisted seven more but they didn’t help in the table as the team struggled.
Herbers expects them to struggle again too. “They’re probably gonna be one of the bottom teams,” he said. “I think this season, just because of their budget problems and and the fact that I don’t think they have that much quality in their team, in their squad and on the first game already so negative as Higuain is.”
It seems like Herbers is high on the additions that the Fire made in the offseason with Xhereden Shaquiri joining considering they actually finished behind Inter Miami last season but with this out on the airwaves now, Herbers will need to back it up on the field.