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Aguerooooooooo! One of the most iconic moments in Premier League history, perhaps the most iconic ever. And that moment would not have been possible without Sergio Aguero doing what he does best; scoring goals.
Sadly he has scored his last goal in professional football, after holding a press conference on Wednesday morning announcing his retirement aged just 33. It comes after the legendary striker was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.
It’s the second emotional press conference that Barcelona fans have had to endure this year. It follows Lionel Messi’s high-profile exit from the club in August.
Unlike Messi, however, it is the last football fans will see of Aguero. They certainly didn’t see the best of the talented striker. Fortunately, both Atletico Madrid fans and Manchester City fans did, as well as followers of the Argentina national team.
He will forever be known for that incredible last-gasp winner against QPR on 13 May 2012. He was, however, so much more than that. Fortunately, fans will remember all of the goals, all of which were just that little bit special in their own way. The lethal attacker had an aura about him, and was undoubtedly one of the best finishers the beautiful game has ever seen.
A fresh-faced Aguero started out in his native Argentina for Independiente. It was clear early on that he was destined for greatness. Bursting onto the scene at 15, he became the club’s youngest ever debutant. Not long after, he achieved the same feat in the Copa Libertadores.
Four seasons in his homeland focused on progression and learning, but it also involved a lot of media attention. And much like other young stars who quickly became too big and bright for South American club football, Aguero was snapped up by a giant of the European game in Atletico Madrid.
Spanish stardom for Aguero
Aguero was eased into life in Madrid in his first season, and it proved to work wonders as he came to life in his second campaign. That was in 2007/08, when he smashed in 19 goals to help the club secure fourth place in La Liga, and a first Champions League spot in over ten years. The club were fearing the worst when legendary striker Fernando Torres left for Liverpool, but Aguero – who linked up with veteran forward Diego Forlan expertly – filled the gap with ease.
Totals of 17, 12 and 20 league goals came in the three seasons that followed, with Aguero establishing himself as one the most promising strikers in European football. Not only his goals, but his assists came to the fore over that period, particularly in the 2009/10 Europa League, when in the final he assisted both goals to secure a 2-1 victory over Fulham.
Five years at Atletico flew by, but now it was time to spread his wings even further. A new-look Manchester City came calling in the summer of 2011, and it was now time for Aguero to test himself in English football. He left Spain with 102 goals in 234 matches.
Words perhaps aren’t enough to describe Aguero’s success at City. But just as he had done throughout his early career, Aguero’s potential for stardom quickly showed itself. Not only City fans, but all Premier League fans will remember the striker’s debut for years to come. With just 30 minutes on the clock remaining against Swansea on 15 August 2011, the attacker entered the field, scoring twice and assisting another to introduce himself to the competition in style.
From then on in, the goals simply flowed. No team was safe. Opposition defenders and goalkeepers were utterly terrified of the sight of the Argentine bearing down on goal. His movement in the final third was second to none. And his finishing was undoubtedly among the best that world football has ever seen.
And that finishing came to light on the final day of the 2011/12 campaign. It is a day that fans of both Manchester clubs will never, ever forget. The red half of the city had just beaten Sunderland 1-0, believing that was enough to secure the league title. Needing a hero against QPR, the blue half of the city turned to Aguero. The striker received the ball from Mario Balotelli, before driving into the box and unleashing a powerful shot into the back of the net. The goal sent City fans, players, and staff wild, as the club secured their first top-flight title since 1968.
Legendary Premier League status
Sadly for the Argentine, a string of unfortunate injuries would hinder his playing time over the following years. But somehow it didn’t stop him from reaching sensational scoring tallies. The highest of which came in the 2014/15 campaign, when he bagged 26 goals from 33 games. His efforts saw him clinch the Premier League Golden Boot for the first time. In the four seasons that followed, he reached totals of 24, 20, 21 and 21 respectively.
Sadly more injuries followed. Aguero left the Premier League in the summer of 2021 as Pep Guardiola admitted it was time to let his star man go. The forward sits fourth in the all-time goalscoring standings. He netted 184 times, behind only Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney and Andrew Cole.
Importantly, however, those 184 strikes came in 275 appearances, leaving Aguero with the best minutes-per-goal record out of everyone. He averaged a goal every 107.9 minutes, ahead of Thierry Henry on 121.8 minutes. The former City man is also ahead of the Arsenal legend in the Premier League’s highest-scoring overseas player list. Moreover, Aguero has 12 Premier League hat-tricks to his name. It’s more than any other player, an important feat for any striker.
His City efforts were, of course, not just limited to league competition. The Champions League would also prove to be a very fruitful competition for the attacker. Despite the club struggling to progress as far as they would have wanted to, their lethal striker proved time and again that he was one of the very best in the business in European football. Aguero remains the club’s all-time top scorer with 260 goals from 390 matches. It’s a record that looks set to remain intact for many years to come.
Sad ending in Spain for Aguero
After such a sensational time in England, Aguero certainly hasn’t got the ending he deserves as a footballer. A move to struggling Barcelona started off badly, and only went downhill from there. A calf injury forced him to miss the beginning of the campaign. He then finally made his club debut in October.
He even managed a goal in his first El Clasico game soon after. That effort led to a starting role against Rayo Vallecano three days later. But just three days after that, things got much more complicated than a mere calf injury. Aguero was taken off early against Alaves after experiencing chest problems.
It means the forward misses out on a well-deserved send-off on the pitch. But it takes nothing away from what he achieved as a player, both at club and international level. His goals will be remembered long into the future. And that iconic moment for City will be forever etched into Premier League folklore.
Trophies, trophies, trophies
He retires with a hugely impressive honours list. It includes five Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one Europa League, and a Copa America trophy with Argentina. His stunning individual honours list is equally impressive. It includes the Premier League Golden Boot, the 2007 Golden Boy award, and two Man City Player of the Year awards.
From an international perspective, he sits third in the all-time scoring list for his country. The forward’s 42 strikes place him behind only Lionel Messi and Gabriel Batistuta. His final goal tally as a professional football sits at 436 goals from 802 matches.
“I want to thank Atletico Madrid who took a chance on me when I was 18, and Manchester City, everyone knows who I feel about City and how well they treated me there,” Aguero said in his emotional press conference.
“I don’t know what awaits me in the next part of my life. But I know I have people who love me. I will always remember the amazing things.”