Leaving gift? - Arsenal target Higuain given captaincy by departing Mourinho

Real Madrid beat Osasuna in their final La Liga fixture today in Jose Mourinho's last game in charge of the club. But is there any meaning behind his decision to give Gonzalo Higuain the captains armband.

La Liga comes to an end tonight and while all the important games take place this evening the inconsequential games involving the runaway leaders in Spain got a slightly earlier kick-off time.

Before Barcelona took on Malaga in the search for 100 points Real Madrid welcomed CD Osasuna to the Bernabeu for their final games of the campaign.

For Osasuna they had a spring in their step after securing survival with a victory over Sevilla last time out; while for Real Madrid this was a day of goodbyes for a trio of ex-Chelsea men.

Michael Essien returns to Stamford Bridge after his loan spell ends this month and Ricardo Carvalho will join AS Monaco on a free transfer and both started the fixture - in fact Essien even parted with a goal.

The other was of course Jose Mourinho; and the ‘Special One’ clearly has not lost any of his shine as photographers tripped over each other in their droves to try and get the best shot of ‘Mou’, cross-armed, inspecting the arena for his Madrid swansong.

And he decided to ring the changes with plenty of the clubs big names sitting out the game due to international duty or simply just to give some of the young players a run-out before he leaves.

It left him with one dilemma however - who would captain the side.

With no Sergio Ramos, Iker Casillas, Diego Lopez, Xabi Alonso or Cristiano Ronaldo in the side the team looked bereft of options.

The obvious decision may have been to give the armband to an experienced player like Raul Albiol or perhaps Carvalho or Essien as a parting gift.

But instead he handed the responsibility to 25-year-old Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain.

This was an interesting move in itself considering he is also expected to leave Los Merengues this summer.

Perhaps this was a last hurrah for the player who is being strongly linked with Arsenal and Juventus?

Neither Higuain or Mourinho are said to be in good favour with the Madrid hierarchy and it could have been interpreted as one last signal of intent regarding the pairs future.

Or on the less sceptical viewpoint it could be that he was the longest serving senior player on duty; and it was a simple decision.

Regardless it seemed to do the trick as a fired up Higuain inspired Madrid to a 4-2 win; scoring the opening goal and producing an incredible surge of pace to start the move which saw Jose Callejon finish off the tie late on.

What do you make of the captaincy? Leaving gift or pure common sense?

image: © Jan S0l0

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