Luis Suarez v Gonzalo Higuain. Two South American Striking phenomena. Playing for some of the biggest, most successful teams on the planet. Both have a massive haul of goals everywhere they’ve played. But who’s better?
Luis Suarez v Gonzalo Higuain: Higuain is better
People saw it first at River Plate. He exploded from the youth team and in his first full season had already scored 10 goals in 17 league matches. Including 2 in the Superclassico against Boca Juniors.
It was obvious a huge club would come in for him. And that club was Real Madrid. He signed for just £12 million. The goals didn’t come right away. He was a little young when he joined, moving from South America for the first time, and had stiff competition from Ruud van Nistelrooy for the number 9 jersey. By 2009, he had scored 24 goals for Real and in 2010 this increased to 29, only behind his Argentina team mate Messi for the top scorer’s award and ahead of Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo.
An injury kept him out for much of the following season, but by the time he’s left the Spanish capital in 2013, Higuain had scored 121 goals in 264 games for Real Madrid. Thsi was despite playing alongside, van Nistelrooy, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo at different times. Luis Suarez v Gonzalo Higuain.
He won 3 league titles at Real, 1 Copa Del Rey and 2 supercups.
Higuain at Napoli.
Higuain joined Napoli in 2013, replacing Edison Cavani, who’d left for PSG. He would go on to score 91 goals in 146 games for the Italian side. he became an emblem for the side, having signed for €40million, consistenly finishing top scorer in the Italian league. In the 3 seasons he played at Napoli, he scored 24, 29 and a stunning 38 goals respectively. The last number there was a record for the most league goals ever scored in a Serie A season (36) and a clear call back to greater things and Juventus came knocking in 2016.
In 43 games for Juventus, at time of writing, Gonzalo Higuain has scored 29 goals. He doesn’t look like stopping any time soon. Luis Suarez v Gonzalo Higuain.
At club level, he’s scored an amazing 256 goals in 494 games.
For Argentina he’s scored 31 goals in 68 games.
Luis Suarez v Gonzalo Higuain: Suarez is better
Luis Suarez owes a lot of his fame to a happy accident. Scouting staff from Groningen were in Uruguay to watch another player, but witnessed the young man score a wonder goal and right away brought him to the Dutch League right away. For the meagre price of €800,000, Suarez was a forward who right away scored 10 goals in 19 appearances and caught the attention of Ajax. He forced through a move in the league court of arbitration after Groningen rejected Ajax’s initial €3.5million offer, and was playing in Amsterdam the following season.
Suarez at Ajax
In his first season, Luis Suarez right away scored 17 goals in 33 appearances, in a partnership with Huntelaar, growing to 22 goals the next year, where he finished Ajax player of the year. Suarez became captain next season and finished the season top scorer, 35 goals in 33 games. An incredible 49 goals in all competitions. He won Dutch player of the year that year. Within another season he’d scored his 100th goal for the club, joining names like Cruyff and Bergkamp.
It was the same year he started biting people however. He got a 7 league match ban in the Dutch league for biting PSV’s Otmar Bakkal. It was during this suspension that Ajax accepted an offer from Liverpool for €26.5 million. While at Ajax, Suarez scored a stunning 111 goals in 159 appearances.
Suarez at Liverpool
The Uruguayan’s work rate immediately made an impact at Anfield. But not his goals. He only scored 4 in his first season from 13 games. Next season he only managed 11. During the 2012-2013 season he became only the third Liverpool player to score more than 20 goals in the Premier League, following Fowler and Torres. Suarez scored 23 goals that season in the league, and 30 in all competitions.
“He [Suárez] has shown in his time at Liverpool in the last year or so that he is near unplayable. He on his own can occupy a back four with his movement and his cleverness.”
— Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool manager.
While playing for Liverpool he scored 82 goals in 133 appearances. Then he moved to Barcelona and shifted up yet another gear.
Suarez at Barcelona.
On the one hand, there’s so much to write about here. On the other, not a whole lot. Suarez joined the best team in the world at the time, playing alongside the best player, perhaps, ever to play the game, in a trio which included the next great Brazil no.9 at the same time. He immediately scored 25 goals in his first season. This was followed by a simply incredible haul of 59 goals for the 2015-2016 season, from 53 appearances. He won the European Golden boot and the Primera Liga top scorer title ahead of both Messi and Ronaldo. He also tied with Messi on assists, making him the first player ever in the Primera to lead in both assists and goals.
In all, Suarez has scored 116 goals in 142 games for the Blugrana and isn’t likely to slow down. Luis Suarez v Gonzalo Higuain.
At club level, he’s scored a stunning 336 goals in 505 games.
For Uruguay he’s scored 47 goals in 91 games.