It has been approximately four years since Tigres was on the cusp of elimination from the oldest, most competitive, and at times the most important club tournament in soccer history. After having gone down 3-1 in the first leg of the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores, Tigres made their biggest acquisition in club history, Andre-Pierre Gignac.
At the age of 29, Gignac arrived in Mexico from France’s Ligue 1 to embark on one of the most compelling soccer stories in Liga MX. Gignac arrived, played his first game in the second leg of that semifinal and scored his first goal to catapult Tigres to a victory and win the second leg, advancing them to play in the Final of the Copa Libertadores. Tigres was up against one of Argentina’s most prestigious clubs, River Plate. The Mexican squad was able to tie the first leg at home, though eventually losing 3-0 in the second leg and consequently losing the championship. Gignac and Tigres became the third Mexican team to reach the final and be the runner-up.
This past weekend, Andre-Pierre Gignac became the all-time leading scorer in club history by netting his 105th goal since his arrival in June 2015.
The Frenchman has been a key piece to the overall championship success of Tigres. His dominant performances for the club have helped the team be in the conversation for team of this decade. Accumulating 4 league titles, 3 consecutive Campeon de Campeones (Fall champion v Spring champion), and the new instilled Campeones Cup (MLS champion v Liga MX Campeon de Campeones). It has allowed Tigres to attract and sign bigger players from all South America including Chilean star, Eduardo Vargas and Ecuadorian, Enner Valencia.
This has led to the former Olympique Marseille striker earning individual accolades in Liga MX. Gignac has won 5 golden balls including: best striker, top scorer, and best player in the Liga MX. One of Gignac’s biggest attributes as a player is his overall skill and championship pedigree. He could beat you one-on-one and strike from distance, get up for a header in the box, and even doing acrobatic moves like the “chilena” (bicycle kicks) to score magnificent goals.
Andre-Pierre Gignac has achieved what many cannot do in a whole career in a quick span of four years. Averaging .56 goals per game for Tigres, Gignac became the all-time leading scorer surpassing Mexican international, current Chivas manager, and Tigres legend, Tomas Boy. The now-Chivas manager had held this mark for over 30-plus years after his 14-year career with the club.
Andre-Pierre Gignac integrated himself in Mexican culture by learning the language, having Mexican-born children, and conquering Liga MX with his breathtaking ability to score from anywhere on the field.
With two years left on his contract, the Frenchman will be seeking to add more goals to his historical mark, winning a CONCACAF Champions League after three finals lost, and according to him, become the manager of Tigres in the future.
Gignac came, played and continues to conquer Mexican football!