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Federico Higuain humbled by fan appreciation

The Crew SC midfielder received a special delivery at training on Friday.

Fans honor Federico Higuain prior to kickoff against D.C. United.
Sam Fahmi

Going into the regular season home finale against D.C. United, Columbus Crew SC fans remained uneasy about the contract status of Federico Higuain.

In August, the playmaker told The Columbus Dispatch that it could be the “end of a cycle” for him after nearly six years in Columbus. Many were confused about the meaning of the cryptic message and some thought the midfielder could be heading out of town.

Following the interview, little was reported on the contract situation and fans didn’t know if the clock was winding down on Higuain’s time with Crew SC.

With no home playoff game guaranteed, fans looked for ways to express their admiration for Pipa, in case this could be the last time he suited up for the Black & Gold at MAPFRE Stadium.

TIFOSWEAT accepted the challenge and got to work. The group constructed what they called a “love letter” to the Columbus midfielder.

The assist by tonight’s tifo honoree Federico Higuain #CrewSC #mls #tifo

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“That was amazing,” Higuain told Massive Report. “I don’t know if I deserve that. That’s too much love.”

After the match, Higuain was moved by the display, commenting on it numerous times.

Perhaps the reason the Crew SC talisman was so emotional postgame was due to the fact that he knew he made the right choice. Higuain re-signed with the club on Friday after “relatively easy negotiations,” although it was not announced until the following Tuesday.

“I want to be here, Crew SC want to keep me here, it was easy to make a deal,” said Higuain.

“I really want to say thank you because in the name of my family and I, because that was a fantastic moment,” Higuain added. “I felt really, really good. I think the love between the supporters and I is reciprocal.”

After Crew SC training on Friday, members of TIFOSWEAT surprised the now-returning playmaker with his tifo at the team’s EAS Training Center in Obetz, OH.

Higuain receives his TIFO. #CrewSC #tifosweat

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Higuain was very appreciative of #tifosweat’s work. #CrewSC

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An emotional Higuain hung out with the fans who made the drive and waited for training to end and returned from the locker room to present them with a MLS ball and two of his authentic jerseys as a sign of appreciation.

The only question remaining is what Higuain is going to do with the giant banner, something he was not sure of after the presentation.

Perhaps he can take some of that new contract money and spend it on home improvement costs to widen his trophy case with the acquisition of this classic tifo.