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Gignac … always Gignac; the French, key in changing the history of Tigres

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Frenchman André-Pierre Gignac appeared with two more goals in the Tigers’ 2-1 triumph against Ulsan Hyundai, to proclaim himself as the man who has given the most to the cats, who has taken a successful step and has given him a turnaround in their history with the presence of the French striker in their ranks.

With the Frenchman in the ranks of the Tigers, the Monterrey club won nine of the 17 championship titles held by the felines in official, local and international tournaments. In addition, to assign a value to Gignac’s scoring quota that would be 41% of the team’s total goals were scored by André-Pierre. That is to say, four out of every 10 goals come from Gignac’s feet.

Gignac has appeared in 73 goals for the Tigers, 14 of them decisive to win awards and establish himself in the history of the university team, both in Mexican soccer, and internationally.

Likewise, André-Pierre Gignac has given his team almost a dozen assists (nine in total), thus making him even more important for the San Nicolás de los Garza squad and showing that he not only knows how to score goals, but also provide of passes for your teammates to score.

As you will remember, in the previous great triumph of the Tigres, last December, the felines lifted the Concacaf Champions Cup, after beating Los Angeles FC 2-1 in the Grand Final, with ‘targets’ by Hugo Ayala and Gignac, at the Orlando City Stadium in Florida, United States, in what was their first international title and that precisely gave them a pass to the Club World Cup that is played in Qatar.

The ‘Dedé’, as he is nicknamed in France, arrived for the Auriazules in June 2015 with a four-year contract, being until that moment an enigma for Aztec football, since it was surprising that a Frenchman of his stature arrived at this football.

Gignac arrived to play the Apertura 2015, the Copa Libertadores that year and the Concacaf Champions League 2015-2016, but he barely appeared, he made a name for himself with his new jersey in the preseason in the Riviera Maya.

As part of his preparation for the tournament, Tigres played two friendly matches and in the first, against Atlante, Gignac scored the only goal of his squad for a 1-0 victory, while in the second match, the forward again Galo stood out with a score to beat Dorados de Sinaloa 2-1. The other was Rafael Sóbis.

In the 2015 Copa Libertadores, André-Pierre Gignac made his official debut with Tigres on July 15 of that year., in a semifinal duel of the Copa Libertadores 2015 against Internacional de Porto Alegre, which the university students left out with a goal from the Frenchman, thus placing him in the Final, which Tigres ended up losing to River Plate sharply 3- 0.

André-Pierre Gignac scored his first goal in Liga MX in the 2-2 draw against Chivas, at the University Stadium, corresponding to Date 3 of the Apertura 2015, while on Day 5, he nailed his fourth ‘Hat- Trick ‘of his career by scoring three of the four goals in the Tigres’ 4-1 win over Jaguares de Chiapas, also at El Volcán.

Likewise, in his debut in the Clásico Regiomontano (Edition 105), in a match on Date 9, Gignac scored the second goal in the triumph of his squad 3-1, and later, he scored a double against Pachuca, a goal against Santos Laguna and another to the Red Sharks of Veracruz.

Thus, with eleven points, Gignac, surpassed the maximum of nine goals scored by a reinforcement of Tigres, in his first campaign in the Mexican League.

In the Liguilla for the Apertura 2015 title, Gignac scored a goal from ‘Chilean’ in the ‘first leg’ game for the Quarterfinals against Chiapas, after receiving a pumped pass from Egidio Arévalo. Gignac connected a showy ‘half scissors’ in the air, to beat Óscar Jiménez and ‘premiered’ like this in a Liguilla in Mexico. In this match, Tigres won 2-1 over their opponent.

Similarly, in the ‘return’ Gignac scored the winning goal by 1-0 over Chiapas, while in the decisive match of the Semifinals, against Toluca, Gignac assisted for the 2-0 goal on aggregate and with it placed Tigres in the Final, where in the ‘first leg’ against the Pumas, in Nuevo León, he was present with the first goal, a penalty kick, while later he collaborated in the third goal of the regios, after scoring a powerful shot that Alejandro Palacios saved, but in the counterattack Sobis sentenced the result 3-0.

In the return leg, the confrontation between felines ended with a 3-0 for UNAM, thus going into overtime, where the Frenchman scored 1-3 at minute 103, but in the second overtime, Gerardo Alcoba scored in a Pumas’ 4-1 dramatic, which meant 4-4 on aggregate, for the Final to be defined in penalty shoot-out.

Gignac scored the first penalty by the Tigres, after two penalties missed by Pedregal and four scored by the ‘Tuca’ Ferretti squad, for the Tigres to be proclaimed champions of the Apertura 2015, where officially, Gignac scored 16 ‘goals’, with eleven goals in the regular phase, two in the first phase of Liguilla and counting the penalty kick, three in the Grand Final.

In the Clausura 2016, the French striker finished as individual scoring champion with 13 goals in the regular season, although he could not score a goal in the ‘big party’, where Tigres was eliminated in the Quarterfinals at the hands of his staunch rival, Monterrey.

However, at the end of the tournament Gignac was awarded the Ballon d’Or for the best player in Liga MX, in addition to receiving another as the best striker and one more as the top scorer of the tournament.

In the 2015-2016 Concacaf Champions League, against Real Salt Lake, André-Pierre Gignac scored the goal that would give the Tigres a ticket to the semifinals of the tournament, against Real Salt lake, and later, in the The second leg of that phase against Querétaro, the Frenchman scored a double for the victory of his squad 2-0, thereby leading the Tigres to the Final, where however, the felines fell to America with a global of 4 -one.

Although in the Apertura 2016, the ‘Bómboro’, as he is also known in Mexico, suffered his worst scoring drought, since he tied nine games in a row without scoring a goal (This made him resort to psychological therapy with the famous hypnotist John Milton, who helped him break his scoring drought), it was a preponderant bastion to put the Tigres back into the Mexican Soccer League, where he scored a ‘Hat-trick ” against the Pumas, in the return of the Quarter-Finals, to end up crushing his rival with a surprising 7-2 aggregate and with five scores of his in the ‘big party’, he ended up leading the Tigres to a new League Final .

There he scored against America in a 1-1 draw, sending the ball under the legs of goalkeeper Moisés Muñoz, and then, in the decisive game for the league title, his participation was in doubt due to a backstroke with a defender rival, although he ended up recovering for the final Final, where the squads reached the penalty shootout, where Gignac scored the first and after three penalties scored by Tigres and three missed by América, which were saved by Nahuel Guzmán, Tigres were crowned champion of the Apertura 2016 tournament.

On the other hand, in the Clausura 2017 the Frenchman again scored a ‘Hat-trick’ to reach eight goals on his personal account, leaving one goal behind the scoring champion. However, André-Pierre Gignac was lethal in the Liguilla, since with four of his goals in the series against Monterrey, Tigres eliminated his ‘archrival’ in the first round with a score of 6-1, the highest goal difference in an eliminatory series between both teams, although in the end they ended up losing the Final to Chivas.

Subsequently, although Gignac did not manage to make a difference in favor of his squad in the 2016-2017 Concacaf Champions League, where he only scored one goal in the Semifinals against the Vancouver Whitecaps and Pachuca ended up being crowned in the Final, which left the auriazules out of the Club World Cup.

In the Apertura 2017, Gignac scored just four goals in the regular tournament, since with the arrival of the Ecuadorian Enner Valencia, he became the team’s top scorer with nine ‘targets’. Tigres classified as second place in the Liguilla and in the first phase eliminated León for his best position in the table, after a 2-2 aggregate with a goal from the French, while in the Final they ran into their staunch rival, Monterrey, thus giving the first Regia Final in history, where in the long run the cats would lift the champions trophy in the BBVA Bancomer Stadium itself, despite the fact that Gignac did not score a goal, but together with his teammates the team had a great performance.

After this, the Tigers managed to win a Champion of Champions that gave them access to the Campeones Cup, a trophy they lost against Toronto of the MLS, although their revenge in Mexican soccer would come again from the hand of André-Pierre Ginac in the Clausura 2019 of the Liga MX, where the San Nicolás de los Garza team finished in second place in the table with 37 points.

In the first phase, Tigres eliminated Pachuca and a score from the French gave him the pass to the Semifinal, where the university students faced their most ‘hated’ rival, Monterrey, whom they left out and although Gignac did not score, the team headed to the Final, where André-Pierre scored in the ‘first leg’ for the victory of his squad against León, which ended up succumbing in the decisive game at the Nou Camp, where Tigres was crowned after a goalless draw and only because of the French goal of the first match.

This gave the university students the pass to the 2018-2019 Champion of Champions and the 2020 Concacaf Champions League, which they ended up getting organized and for which they are located in the first Club World Cup this year (The other will be played in next December in Japan).

WHAT ELSE TO EXPECT FROM THE FRENCH?

In this way, although the cats had a 2019 Apertura to be forgotten, since they were eliminated by América in the first phase of Liguilla, while the next Mexican soccer tournament was canceled due to the pandemic, just on the tenth day, and in the Apertura 2020, also called ‘Guard1anes’, Cruz Azul threw them out in the first round of the ‘big party’, Tigres could continue to make history worldwide.

It is not ruled out that the San Nicolás de los Garza squad will continue its triumphant path in the Club World Cup led by André-Pierre Gignac, who already made his mark in the first game and is expected to continue being forceful against Palmeiras de Brazil, and then in a possible Final.

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