Higuain: 'Not stealing CR7's throne'

Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain insists he is not out to “steal” Cristiano Ronaldo’s place in the team, despite impressing in his absence.

Higuain scored his fifth goal of the season on Saturday against Atalanta, winning praise for his performance alongside Paulo Dybala in Juve’s attack while Ronaldo sat out.

“I feel happy,” assured the 32-year-old at a press conference.

“Not only do I for choosing to stay put, but also how Ive been treated by my teammates, the club and staff. I am very happy to be here. I have enjoyed some beautiful years here.

“It’s going well at the moment, but I’m not satisfied. The season is very long, and we have a lot to prove between now and the end.

“When there are the great players like we have here, you need to make the most of every opportunity you are given. Both Paulo [Dybala] and I have tried to do our best.”

The Argentine made way for increasing Ronaldo influence at Real Madrid in 2013 and then last year, when the Portuguese joined the Old Lady, so would he prefer to stay alongside Dybala?

“They are two different players; everyone likes to play with great players and they are. I try to adapt to play with both.

“I don’t have to steal anything from anyone. We know who Ronaldo is, a winner. I try to help the team win, we are all important and crucial, both those who play and those who don’t play.

“In the long run, this is what leads a team to winning things.”

His relationship with Maurizio Sarri yielded success at Napoli and Chelsea, and the pair are back together in Turin.

“With the coach, I had the best years of my career, I know what he wants,” he said of their combination. “I’m happy to work with him and I try to do what he asks me to.

“Sarri grew during his career and this season he is trying to make the team play as he would like to.

“We are trying and we are having a great start to the season. Maybe our general play is not brilliant, but at least the results are keeping us on the right track.”

The Bianconeri face Atletico Madrid tomorrow, already through to the Champions League Round of 16…

“Atletico must be respected, they have earned that respect, Tomorrow it will be a very complicated game.

“They will come here to win and to qualify, but we will try to do the same and close the group.”

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