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Gignac: A rare treasure in Liga MX

Despite not having signed an extension of yet, the French international wishes to retire a Tigre

Soccer: 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League - Final-Los Angeles FC at Tigres UANL Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Rarely in recent times have we seen such a compelling and loyal story as André-Pierre Gignac’s with Tigres. The French striker arrived back in the summer of 2015, and through his 243 total matches played to date with the San Nicolás de los Garza squad, he is the club’s all-time leading scorer with 143 goals. The closest player to him on the list is Tomás Boy with 104. But his personal achievement isn’t the most impressive stat for the Frenchman. Since his arrival, Tigres have claimed four league titles to go along with the most recent CONCACAF CL title obtained just a couple weeks ago. That’s an average of at one title per year at the club.

At age 35 and with only six months left on his contract, Gignac has openly expressed his desire in the past to retire with the Monterrey-based club. His current contract has an extra one-year option which runs through the summer of 2022, but he doesn’t seem to have any interest in it as of now. Quite the contrary in fact, Gignac appears to be seaching for another multi-year deal with Tigres which would tie him and the club together at least until he turns 37, an age where retirement could become very much an option. However, this has yet to be confirmed.

Despite that, they don’t seem to be anticipating a long wait for a contract extension offer and announcement over in Gignac’s camp. In fact, Mediotiempo have reported that the Frenchman’s agent, Jean-Christophe Cano, expects to have the extension completed by the end of the month.

While Tigres’ front office take a look at the situation and predictably reach a new multi-year deal, Gignac and his teammates are looking ahead to the start of the Guard1anes 2021 season when they play hosts to current champs León on Saturday night. This promises to be a clash of the giants, as Tigres will look to reestablish themselves in the pecking order after an abrupt Liguilla exit to the hands of Cruz Azul in December.

The proof is all there. The fact this team has remained a contender over the past five years and counting despite the coming and going of important different pieces is in large part because of the French international. His game has been consistently on point (his goal count is there to prove that), he’s been all in effort-wise, and most importantly, he’s showed up in crucial moments. That is perhaps his greatest strength; he’s never been afraid of the big moment. And when you know a player still has the level of play to elevate a team the way Gignac does, you give him that multi-year extension hands down. We should fully expect to hear news on this subject very soon.