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Sad end to Gonzalo Higuain's career, he leaves after being beaten by NYCFC in MLS Playoffs

Gonzalo Higuain, one of the most successful Argentine strikers of recent times, left soccer for good on Monday night, after his team, Inter Miami, was uglyly knocked out of the MLS playoffs 3-0 by NYCFC in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Higuain led David Beckham's team to the finals in his last season as a professional, scoring 16 goals in 29 games, several of them among the best of his career, either from free kicks, mid-range and with his classic beautiful shots.

Former Real Madrid, Juve and Argentina star Higuain announces retirementAP

Gonzalo Higuain's brilliant career

The former World Cup player with Argentina played the 90 minutes of a match where his team was dominated and ended his career in a discreet way, squatting on the Citi Field grass, shedding a few tears, while the cameras surrounded this special moment of his career, which he leaves at the age of 34, with 785 games, 367 goals, 127 assists and 14 titles.

The Argentine striker leaves with a brilliant career behind him. He was born in River Plate and spent his best years in Europe: Real Madrid, Napoli and Juventus, before moving on to two brief spells at Chelsea and Milan.

"Pipita" won three league titles with Real Madrid and as many with Juventus, as well as three runner-up finishes with the Argentine national team, two in the Copa América and one more in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

NYCFC to the semifinals

Meanwhile, the home team feasted, with goals from Gabriel Pereira, Maxi Moralez and Heber, all in the second half.

NYCFC, continuing their quest to retain their title as reigning MLS champions, will now play at Montreal on Sunday in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Pereira opened the scoring in the 63rd minute and Moralez made it 2-0 six minutes later. Pereira was left alone on a breakaway and Santiago Rodriguez found him for a calm finish off the crossbar. Rodriguez also had a back-heel assist on Moralez's goal.

The game had originally been scheduled for Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, home of the neighboring Red Bulls, but Citi Field became available after the New York Mets were quickly eliminated by the San Diego Padres in the MLB Wild Card round.

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