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Phil Neville counting himself ‘fortunate’ to have Gonzalo Higuain at Inter Miami

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He’s come in for plenty of stick during his time in Fort Lauderdale but, right now, Gonzalo Higuain is carrying Inter Miami to the MLS Cup Playoffs.

The veteran Argentine striker scored the late winner in a vital 1-0 victory away at Toronto FC on Friday night, leaving the Herons on the cusp of sealing their post-season spot.

It was Higuain’s 14th goal in 26 MLS appearances this season and his sixth in his last six games alone. A far cry from the player that arrived to so much fanfare in September 2020 after playing for the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus, Chelsea, and Napoli, yet became a figure of ridicule due to his struggles.

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“This group is an amazing group and are now beginning to believe what we believed in them from day one. That’s great to see. I think it helps when you’ve got a center forward that’s carrying the team towards the playoffs,” Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville said after Friday’s victory.

“I’ve said from day one: We are fortunate, we’re lucky. I’m lucky to manage a world-class striker,” Neville added. “If you think about the adversity that he’s had to overcome in his Inter Miami career, I think it’s a testament to his character. The fact that he said from day one that he wanted to finish with Inter Miami as a winner. He’s leading a young, inexperienced squad to a place where they are challenging and where we want to be, so we’re really happy.”

Higuain had to wait until the 86th minute for his winner on Friday, but had absolute faith that he’d get another chance thanks to the ‘fight’ in this Inter Miami team.

“I’m very emotional because this team doesn’t give up, it fights to the end, and I’m very, very proud to be part of this team,” said Higuain. “It seems like we like to suffer and score late, but I knew myself I was going to have another chance to score. I knew that if I stayed focused and concentrated, I knew I was going to have another opportunity, and the chance arrived and I was able to finish it.

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“It was very important for us to get this win and this goal because it’s a big one as we push to the Playoffs.”

Neville continued in his praise of Higuain, even claiming the former Argentina international has become a figure of worship within the Inter Miami locker room.

“He’s probably where he wanted to be when he first came [to] MLS,” the coach said. “He wanted to be the man, the man that everyone looked up to, the man everyone worshiped – and that comes two ways. You’ve got to have a team around you, and you’ve also got to play the performances yourself. And I think what we’ve done, we’ve provided him with a team and a platform, particularly with [Alejandro] Pozuelo coming in, and he’s given the team back more.”

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Neville continued: “We’ve got a world-class player in Gonzalo and he’s delivering everything and more for the team that worships him, the team that thinks he’s God, the team that thinks he’s the king…he’s got everybody on a string. It’s brilliant to see the happiness in which he’s playing his football, the happiness in when he comes into work every single day, and he’s got the whole dressing room playing to his tune, and that is through respect, that is through encouragement, and that is through his performances. That’s what you get from winners.”

Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.





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England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

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England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

On Sunday, England and Senegal, their opponents in the last-16 of the World Cup, square off at Al Bayt Stadium in a battle for a spot in the quarterfinals.

The Three Lions take on the Lions of Teranga, who advanced to the knockout stages thanks to a crucial intervention from their captain, in a first-ever meeting after Gareth Southgate’s team defeated Wales to win Group B.

Line-up

England XI: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Henderson, Bellingham; Saka, Foden, Kane.  

Senegal XI: E. Mendy; Sabaly, Koulibaly, Diallo, Jakobs; Ciss, N. Mendy; Diatta, Ndiaye, Sarr; Dia. 

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USMNT players apologize for World Cup elimination

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US men’s national team players took to social media to apologize to fans following their elimination from the 2022 World Cup.  

After failing to qualify for the 2018 edition of the tournament, the American side entered Qatar with high hopes. The team kicked off with draws against England and Wales, before triumphing 1-0 over Iran to make the knockout round as second place of Group B. 

Gregg Berhalter’s side was forced to face the Netherlands on Saturday at Khalifa International Stadium for the highly anticipated match up. Despite an energetic start to the game, the USMNT ultimately lost 3-1, with goals from Memphis Depay, Daley Blind and Denzel Dumfries proving to be the difference between the two sides.

The Americans will now look forward to the 2026 World Cup where they will serve as hosts alongside Mexico and Canada. 

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France vs Poland: Confirmed lineups

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France vs Poland: Confirmed lineups

In Sunday’s last-16 matchup at the Al-Thumama Stadium, Poland and France, the current champions, prepare for battle after both teams lost in their World Cup 2022 group stage campaigns.

Les Bleus completed first in Gathering D to endure to the knockout rounds, while Czeslaw Michniewicz’s men set up a bind with the holders subsequent to putting second in Gathering C.

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