Man City To Unveil Aguero Statue

 

 

Sergio Aguero admitted he was grateful to Manchester City as his former club prepared to unveil a statue celebrating their record scorer’s most famous goal.

Aguero memorably netted the stoppage-time strike against QPR that sealed City’s Premier League title triumph at the Etihad Stadium in 2012.

The Argentine forward’s 93rd minute goal gave City their first English title since 1968, with the added bonus of pipping arch rivals Manchester United on the last day of the season.

Friday marks the 10th anniversary of Aguero’s dramatic contribution to City’s rise, which now includes five top-flight titles under the club’s Abu Dhabi-based owners.

Aguero went on to score a record 260 goals for City before leaving to join Barcelona last year.

The 33-year-old retired in December due to a heart condition, but his legendary status at City will now be immortalised with a statue outside the ground.

The sculpture, which it is understood depicts Aguero’s shirt-waving celebration after scoring against QPR, will be unveiled to coincide with Friday’s anniversary.

“Truthfully, it is a very beautiful thing for me,” said Aguero, who is also due to attend a reunion party for City’s 2011-12 squad.

“In those 10 years I was able to win a lot of trophies and was able to help the club become one of the most important in the world.

“I am very grateful to the club for making this statue in recognition of my football career in Manchester. It is something very special.

“I remember I was very young, to see myself 10 years ago is very moving.”

City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said it was important to acknowledge the role Aguero’s most celebrated goal played in the club’s history.

“It’s the moment that, I think, changed everything,” said Khaldoon. “If you look at the 10 years since, that was the moment that introduced what lies ahead.

“He is absolutely deserving and, I think, a legend for this club.”

Sergio Aguero Retires From Football

Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Kun Aguero looks on as he addresses a press conference to announce his retirement from football, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, on December 15, 2021. Pau BARRENA / AFP

 

Barcelona and Argentina striker Sergio Aguero on Wednesday announced his retirement from football at a tearful press conference, just over a month after the 33-year-old was diagnosed with a heart problem.

“I have decided to stop playing professional football. It is a very hard moment but I am happy with my decision. My health comes first,” said Aguero, who enjoyed 10 highly successful years at Manchester City before leaving at the end of last season.

He signed a two-year deal with Barcelona but had made just five appearances, scoring one goal against Real Madrid, before being taken to hospital with breathing problems after a match at home to Alaves in October.

Aguero was then diagnosed with a heart problem and forced to accept that he would not be able to play again.

“I took this decision because of problems I had a bit more than a month ago. I was in good hands with the doctors who also did their best and told me the best thing to do was stop playing,” he said at the press conference at the Camp Nou, which was attended by his Barcelona teammates.

“I did everything possible to keep the hope alive but there wasn’t much hope.”

Aguero began his career at Independiente in his native Argentina before moving to Europe in 2006 to sign for Atletico Madrid.

He won the Europa League during his time with the Spanish side and then moved to City in 2011.

Aguero left the Etihad Stadium a decade later as their all-time leading scorer with 260 goals, the most famous being his injury-time strike against Queens Park Rangers in May 2012 which won the Premier League title.

“I am very proud of the career I have had,” he added.

“Everyone knows about the goal I scored for City against Queens Park Rangers to win my first Premier League, but there have been many great moments.”

AFP

Barcelona’s Aguero Poised To Retire With Heart Condition

Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero looks on after the English FA Cup quarter final football match between Everton and Manchester City at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on March 20, 2021. Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP

 

Barcelona forward Sergio Aguero will make an announcement on his future on Wednesday following cardiac and respiratory difficulties suffered while playing in La Liga in October.

Aguero will be accompanied at a press conference Wednesday by club president Joan Laporta, where local media say he will announce his retirement.

The 33-year-old joined Barca from Manchester City in July after helping Argentina to win the Copa America.

READ ALSO: Barcelona To Play Napoli In Europa League Knockout Play-Offs

Just prior to his switch he suffered a bout of Covid-19, and on October 30 was rushed to hospital after breathing problems while playing in the Liga draw against Alaves.

“It looks clear the Argentine striker will announce his retirement after suffering cardiac arythmia,” Mundo Deportivo wrote on Tuesday.

The club said after he underwent heart tests in November that Aguero would be unavailable for the next three months while the effectiveness of treatment was evaluated.

At the time Aguero said he remained positive.

“There are rumours going around but I’m following the club doctor’s opinion and we’ll see how I am in 90 days,” he wrote on Twitter.

Aguero left Man City as their all-time record goalscorer with 260 goals, and with the most goals scored for a single club in Premier League history — 184 goals in 275 appearances.

AFP

Aguero ‘A Few Weeks’ From Man City Return Says Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said earlier this week that Sergio Aguero was ‘the best striker in our history’ and that the team needed him back in action. (AFP)

 

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Sergio Aguero is “a few weeks” from being ready to play as the Argentina striker recovers from coronavirus.

Aguero, already hampered by injury problems this season, has been self-isolating after falling ill with the virus.

City’s record scorer has made just three starts in all competitions this term and hasn’t played since January 3.

After testing negative for the virus, Aguero can now come out of quarantine.

But the 32-year-old has not yet restarted full training as he slowly works his way back to fitness.

“He is still not training on the field. He started to move a little yesterday but he will need a few weeks to come back,” Guardiola told reporters on Tuesday.

“He is negative, this is the most important thing. He is healthy again and now he will come back again. As the top scorer it is important for us to have him back.”

City will travel to Burnley on Wednesday in fine form after a club record 12 successive wins.

Eight of those victories have come in the Premier League, lifting Guardiola’s side to the top of the table, three points clear of second-placed Manchester United.

That represents a considerable turnaround after an indifferent start to the campaign in which City dropped points in five of their opening eight games.

After a trip to Turf Moor, City face title rivals Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

But Guardiola refused to read too much into City’s blistering streak and is focusing only on keeping the good run going against Burnley.

“Six weeks ago we were not contenders for anything, six weeks later we are contenders. Everything can change so quickly,” Guardiola said.

“We can drop five points in two games in three days. It has happened to other teams so it can happen to you.”

Aguero Won’t Be Rushed Back, Says Guardiola

Manchester City’s Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero warms up during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on November 21, 2020. NEIL HALL / POOL / AFP

 

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he will not rush Sergio Aguero back into action despite his side’s lack of goals in the Premier League.

City’s record goalscorer was an unused substitute in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Tottenham as he nears a return from his latest injury problem.

The 32-year-old Argentine missed the end of last season and the start of the current campaign after undergoing knee surgery in June. He has since had another lay-off after suffering a hamstring injury last month.

City have scored just 10 goals in eight top-flight matches this season, though their strike record in Europe is more impressive, with nine goals in their three games.

“We want him to come back to training again so he can recover a good feeling in his knee, this is the most important thing,” Guardiola said on Tuesday.

“We wait for him and take it one step at a time. We have many, many games to play this season and we’ll need him. What we want is him to recover in his best condition.”

City travel to Greece on Tuesday ahead of their Champions League Group C match at Olympiakos on Wednesday.

After winning their opening three matches, victory would secure their place in the last 16, leaving them free to focus on improving their Premier League form.

City have dropped points in five of their eight games so far and are languishing in the bottom half of the table, eight points behind leaders Tottenham.

“One step at a time,” said Guardiola, who last week extended his contract until 2023.

“We’ll try to get through (Wednesday) to qualify and at the same time, recover, come back with good feelings that we can create chances and score goals.”

Captain Fernandinho has recovered from gastroenteritis and could feature while left-back Benjamin Mendy is also back in contention after injury.

AFP

Gabriel Jesus Stars As Man City Beat Everton

Manchester City’s Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus (C) celebrates after scoring their second goal of the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Everton at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on January 1, 2020.
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Gabriel Jesus extended his remarkable record against Everton as the Manchester City striker’s second-half brace sealed a 2-1 win on Wednesday.

Jesus was handed the start as City manager Pep Guardiola rested Sergio Aguero, but the decision to select the Brazilian ahead of the club’s record goalscorer could easily have been inspired by his mastery of Everton.

Repaying his manager’s faith, Jesus feasted on the Everton defence once again.

He has now scored seven times in his last five appearances against the Merseyside club, who must be sick of the sight of him.

City remain third in the Premier League after a second successive win left them 11 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool, who have two games in hand on the champions.

READ ALSO: Leicester Keep Title Hope Alive After Newcastle Win

Richarlison got one back for Everton, but it was a first defeat for new boss Carlo Ancelotti, who had masterminded wins over Burnley and Newcastle in his first two matches since replacing the sacked Marco Silva.

The former Chelsea chief got the better of Guardiola in their previous meeting — two Real Madrid wins against Bayern Munich in the 2014 Champions League semi-finals.

There would be no repeat against a City side with a point to prove after a spluttering end to 2019.

City won 10 trophies, including four Premier League titles, in the decade just closed, but Liverpool’s remarkable form over the last 18 months is a serious threat to that dominance.

Guardiola has already conceded City have no chance of catching Liverpool this season, instead setting his sights on a more sustained challenge next term by admitting they need to “play better and pray”.

There was no need for divine intervention against Everton, although with Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker among those left out by Guardiola, the visitors nearly snatched a shock lead when Seamus Coleman’s volley forced a one-handed save from Claudio Bravo.

Nervous Finale

City thought they had taken the lead when Phil Foden met Joao Cancelo’s cross with a close-range finish in the 13th minute.

But the hosts’ celebrations were curtailed by VAR as the goal was ruled out for a tight offside against Riyad Mahrez, who had supplied the pass to Cancelo.

It was the latest VAR decision to go against City this season and Mahrez responded with a stinging drive that forced a good save from Pickford.

City should have been in front just before half-time when Jesus picked out Mahrez in space in the area, yet the Algerian dragged his shot wide.

Guardiola’s team have failed to score a first-half goal in six of their last eight home league games.

But they only needed six minutes to take the lead after the break.

Ilkay Gundogan’s pass split the Everton defence and Jesus took a touch inside before a curling a fine finish into the far corner.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin had five goals in his last five appearances and the Everton forward nearly grabbed an instant equaliser with a close-range header that flashed wide.

It was a crucial moment as Jesus struck again in the 58th minute.

Kevin De Bruyne teed up Foden and he found Mahrez as City carved opened the Everton defence before Jesus applied the finishing touch with a powerful low drive for his 13th goal of the season.

City went to sleep in the 71st minute, allowing Richarlison to slot home after Claudio Bravo made a hash of passing to Fernandinho.

Jesus wasted a chance to kill off Everton when his close-range shot smacked the post in a nervous finale, but City held on.

AFP

Jesus Dreams To Edge Aguero In Scoring Spree

Manchester City’s Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus shoots to score their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Manchester City at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on December 3, 2019. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Gabriel Jesus ended his eight match goal drought with a brace in Manchester City’s 4-1 victory over Burnley on Tuesday and hopes this can spark him into emulating team-mate Sergio Aguero’s scoring rate.

The 22-year-old Brazilian has got his chance to lead the City line, and will do so again in the Manchester derby on Saturday, because record goalscorer Aguero is injured.

Jesus — bought for a reported £27 million ($35 million) from Palmeiras in the January transfer window in 2017 — said he is confident in his abilities as a goal scorer but just needs to follow 31-year-old Aguero’s example.

Aguero, who is out with a thigh injury, has scored nine goals in 12 Premier League appearances this season and 173 in 251 league games overall for City at a rate of 0.69 per match.

“I know my qualities — I know I can score,” Jesus said after the match.

“I have to score when I play.

“Sergio scores every time. That is my ambition.

“I want to play and score every time.”

Jesus said the victory was also a confidence booster for the defending champions after an indifferent run  which brought one victory in five games in all competitions prior to the Burnley clash.

City reduced the deficit between themselves and leaders Liverpool to eight points, although it can go back to 11 if the Champions League holders beat city rivals Everton later on Wednesday.

“It is a confidence (booster) for us. This time the Premier League is so difficult,” he said.

“Liverpool are now eight points in front of us. We have to play all the matches like a final to win.”

AFP

Injury Rules Aguero Out For ‘A Few Weeks’

Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola (L) gestures to Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero (R) as he leaves the pitch during the English Premier League football match against Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on November 23, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

 

Manchester City are expected to be without striker Sergio Aguero for “a few weeks”, according to boss Pep Guardiola.

The Argentine sustained the injury during Saturday’s 2-1 win against Chelsea, with Guardiola unclear as to the exact nature of the problem.

In his press conference to preview Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk, Guardiola said: “Sergio will be out for a few games, a few weeks. I don’t know exactly.

“(The injury) is at the front.”

Gabriel Jesus can expect to feature more prominently in Aguero’s absence, and he said: “I am not happy Sergio is injured.

“I don’t like it when my friends are injured, but every day I work hard and I am ready.”

Manchester City will be through to the knockout phase of the Champions League if they avoid defeat against Shakhtar or if Dinamo Zagreb do not beat Atalanta.

City will be confirmed in top spot if they win, or if they draw and Dinamo do not win.

Guardiola said: “The position we have is good but we have not qualified yet. Tomorrow is a chance.”

AFP

Messi, Aguero Will Have To Sweat Against Brazil, Says Gabriel Jesus

Argentina’s Sergio Aguero (R) celebrates with Argentina’s Lionel Messi after scoring against Qatar during their Copa America football tournament group match at the Gremio Arena in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on June 23, 2019. PHOTO: Carl DE SOUZA / AFP

 

Argentina forwards Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero will have to sweat if they’re going to break down Brazil’s watertight defence in their Copa America semi-final, says Selecao striker Gabriel Jesus.

Hosts Brazil have yet to concede a goal in four matches at the Copa while Argentina have improved defensively and kept clean sheets in their last two matches.

Jesus expects a tight contest in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday and says Brazil’s defence won’t give Argentina’s forward line an inch.

“It’s tough to get behind a defence that doesn’t concede goals,” the Manchester City forward said of Argentina’s backline.

“It’s also a long time since we conceded a goal. It’s very important to have a solid defence.

“But it won’t be easy for Argentina to get behind us. Obviously they have Messi who is the best player in the world, and they have Aguero, one of the best center-forwards, but they’re going to have to sweat to get in behind.”

Jesus said he was sure “Argentina will attack us” and he’s looking forward to joking around with his City team-mates Aguero and center-back Nicolas Otamendi, but only after the match.

What’s clear, though, is that this is the most keenly anticipated match on the continent, between the two regional giants.

Brazil are the most successful team in World Cup history with five titles to Argentina’s two, but at a continental level, the roles are reversed as Argentina have won the Copa 14 times compared to eight for Brazil.

Should Argentina win again, they would match Uruguay’s record of 15 titles.

“These are two giants, from countries with a lot of history,” said Jesus.

“We’re playing at home and we have more pressure to win, but it’s a ‘clasico’ against Argentina.”

These two sides’ defenses have been on top so far but given the attacking talent that will be on show, a goalless draw would be unthinkable, even though there have been three already in the knock-out stages out of four matches.

Brazil will likely line up with Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino flanked by Jesus and the exciting Gremio forward Everton, a reported target for Manchester City.

Argentina are almost certainly sure to stick to the trio that played their last two matches — 2-0 victories over Qatar and Venezuela — with Lautaro Martinez joiningMessiand Aguero.

 ‘Best in the world’

But there is one name that most occupies the thoughts of Brazil center-back Thiago Silva, and that’s Messi.

The Paris Saint-Germain defender has painful memories of a Messi in full flow. He and Marquinhos, hia center-back partner for club and country, were torn apart in Barcelona’s famous 6-1 Champions League victory over PSG in 2017 that overturned a 4-0 first leg deficit.

Messi scored Barca’s third goal that day.

“Obviously no matter how much attention you pay it doesn’t count for much against the best player in the world,” said Silva.

“Whenever we play against him for the national team or in the Champions League, it’s difficult.

“No matter how much you study him, you’ll never be able to understand the difference he can make.

“In the decisive moments, you think he’ll do one thing, and he pulls out of his hat something that you never expected. That’s the difference.

“But now it’s Brazil against Argentina and we’ll try to defend our end and admire him some other day.”

The semi-final has got everyone excited for what will be the 106th official FIFA-recognized meeting between the two rivals.

Brazil lead the head-to-head record with 41 wins to 38 and 26 draws.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni wants his players to put aside that historic rivalry, though, and treat this simply as a major tournament semi-final with a final at stake for the winners.

“We need to play this, not like just another match, but like a Copa America semi-final, no matter who it’s against,” said Scaloni.

“We can’t think about playing our greatest rivals. That amplifies the legend.

“We’re going to try to impose our game and do what will give us an advantage,” he added.

AFP

Aguero Back For City’s Tottenham Champions League Showdown

Aguero Back For City's Tottenham Champions League Showdown
Manchester City’s Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero gestures on April 6, 2019. Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

Sergio Aguero was fit to take his place in Manchester City’s starting line-up for their Champions League quarter-final first leg at Tottenham on Tuesday.

Aguero had missed City’s last two matches against Cardiff and Brighton after suffering a muscle injury during their Premier League win at Fulham on March 30.

But the Argentine striker, City’s all-time leading goal-scorer, was declared ready to return for the clash with their Premier League rivals at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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City manager Pep Guardiola, hoping to win an unprecedented quadruple this season, freshened up his team with four changes following their lethargic 1-0 FA Cup semi-final victory against Brighton on Saturday.

Aguero replaced Gabriel Jesus, who scored the winner against Brighton, while Fabian Delph played at left-back instead of Benjamin Mendy.

Riyad Mahrez came in for Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho was selected instead of Kevin De Bruyne.

Tottenham were at full strength for their first Champions League quarter-final since 2011.

Mauricio Pochettino handed a place to midfielder Harry Winks, who is making his first start since the beginning of March following a groin injury.

Harry Kane led the Tottenham attack, with Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min in support.

Starting line-ups for the Champions League quarter-final, first leg between Tottenham and Manchester City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday (kick-off 1900 GMT):

Tottenham (4-2-3-1)

Hugo Lloris (capt); Kieran Trippier, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose; Moussa Sissoko, Harry Winks; Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Son Heung-Min; Harry Kane

Coach: Mauricio Pochettino (ARG)

Manchester City (4-2-3-1)

Ederson; Kyle Walker, Nicolas Otamendi, Aymeric Laporte, Fabian Delph; Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan; Riyad Mahrez, David Silva (capt), Raheem Sterling; Sergio Aguero

Coach: Pep Guardiola (ESP)

Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (NED)

AFP

Aguero Might Miss Watford Clash Over Injury – Guardiola

Guardiola Unsure How Long Aguero Will Be Out
Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola looks on as Manchester City’s Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero goes down with an injury during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on February 10, 2018. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Pep Guardiola admits Sergio Aguero is a doubt for Manchester City’s Premier League trip to Watford on Tuesday because of a muscle problem.

Aguero missed City’s 3-1 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday with a muscle strain, Argentina forward watching from the stands as Guardiola’s team moved five points clear at the top of the table.

Gabriel Jesus was given a first league start since September 1 as Aguero sat out, but the Brazilian did not score, with Raheem Sterling the key figure as City secured a sixth successive league victory.

Sterling restored City’s lead with a close-range finish early in the second half after Bournemouth had gone in level at the interval when Callum Wilson’s header cancelled out Bernardo Silva’s opener.

A City side showing five changes produced an uneven performance, and victory was only made certain when Ilkay Gundogan touched in Leroy Sane’s low cross with 11 minutes left at the Etihad Stadium.

Aguero is City’s leading scorer this season, with 12 goals in all competitions.

And although Sterling has now equalled his league total of eight, Guardiola acknowledged Aguero would be missed if he doesn’t recover for the trip to Watford in midweek.

“I don’t know if Aguero will be fit. We will see. I base my decisions on doctors, physios, instinct and what I see. There are many reasons,” Guardiola said.

Guardiola acknowledged his team’s first-half performance was “flat”, but he was pleased to come away with a victory – his 400th as a manager – after a testing 2-2 Champions League draw at Lyon on Tuesday.

He claimed his attempt to improve the players against Bournemouth with a half-time team-talk did not work as well as he would have liked and was grateful to Sterling for making the difference in the second half.

 Ridiculous speech 

“It was a good win. After the Champions League, it is always tough,” Guardiola said.

“We had a lack of rhythm in the first half. Bournemouth are so fast up front and so hard to play against. They put so many balls into the box – they are so strong.

“We were flat but after, we were more aggressive and we changed the game. I asked them for more at half-time but my speech was ridiculous because in the first five or 10 minutes, it didn’t work – it was the same as the first half.

“Raheem Sterling changed the game and Leroy Sane was fantastic too. I don’t know what he ate but it will be on the menu for the next games.”

Sterling has made a habit of profiting against Bournemouth and has now scored in each of his six Premier League appearances against them.

He almost scored a remarkable individual goal minutes before he did find the net, producing a mazy run past five opponents before seeing his shot deflect off Andrew Surman against the post.

By contrast, the finish for his goal was relatively straightforward, albeit after a stylish build-up, as he fed a pass for Danilo to shoot, then swept in the rebound after goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has failed to hold the ball.

Bournemouth, despite falling to a fourth successive league defeat, had plenty of reason for encouragement in their performance, and perhaps deserved more than their one goal, headed in by Wilson from a Simon Francis cross.

Cherries boss Eddie Howe said: “We nullified them for long periods and had moments ourselves when the ball could have bounced our way. It was a good time to score, right on halftime.

“We haven’t done enough defensively and weren’t clinical enough in attack. We have an honest group of players and I can’t fault them at all.”

AFP

Man City’s Record Scorer Aguero Extends Stay

File photo of Manchester City’s Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero picture taken on September 19, 2018. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Manchester City’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero extended his stay with the Premier League champions on Friday, signing a one-year contract extension.

The 30-year-old Argentina international — who broke the record last season and whose tally stands at 204 — put pen to paper on a deal that will see him through to the end of the 2021 season.

“I am happy for this additional year,” said Aguero in a club statement.

“My idea was being here for 10 years. I’ve been here for seven years, it’s going to be 10 when the contract expires.

“This was the main reason I signed. I’m very happy because they have treated me very well since the first day I got here.”

Txiki Begiristain, Manchester City’s director of football, said Aguero — who has been left out at times by manager Pep Guardiola in the last two years for Brazilian Gabriel Jesus — retained his status as one of the club’s most pivotal players.

“We are delighted that Sergio is extending his stay at Manchester City,” said Begiristain.

“He has been so important to this club since his arrival in 2011 and he remains at the forefront of what we are want to achieve in the coming years.

“We are fortunate to have had one of the best strikers in the world at our club for so many years.”

AFP