Fighting back tears, Sergio Aguero took a deep breath and finally made the announcement that football fans had been dreading since leaving a game with chest pains six weeks ago.
“I have decided to quit playing professional football,” the 33-year-old Barcelona striker said on Wednesday in front of an intimate audience of friends, family and teammates from a prolific 18-year career that has ended. ended sadly and suddenly.
Aguero, one of the world’s greatest forwards of this generation, underwent testing after leave the field, holding his chest, during Barcelona’s match against Alaves in the Spanish league on October 30.
âWhen they did the first test at the clinic, the medical staff called me to tell me that there was a very big possibility that I couldn’t continue playing,â Aguero said. “… I was still processing everything when one of the doctors told me directly, ‘That’s enough. “”
Speaking during a specially organized press conference on the Camp Nou pitch, Aguero watched with sadness a highlight of his career broadcast on a screen. There have been goals – and plenty of them – in his time playing for Independiente, AtlÃ©tico Madrid, Manchester City, Argentina and his brief stint at Barcelona, ââwhich he joined in May but for which he only managed to make five appearances.
He smiled as he reminded everyone that the last goal of his career was against Barcelona’s big rivals Real Madrid.
When asked how he would like to be remembered, Aguero – true to his reputation as a shy person – replied that he was not the person to ask the question.
However, he ended by saying: “I was not bad, wasn’t I?” This is what they tell me.
One of the most recognizable players in the world, with his powerful shot and explosive movement, Aguero will be remembered as a player for his 10-year stint at Man City during which he became a greats of the English game.
Aguero scored a club record of 260 goals for City and has been a key player in the team’s growth as a major force in England and Europe. He netted a record 12 hat tricks in his total of 184 Premier League goals, the most for a foreign player and the fourth all-time.
He also scored what is arguably the Premier League’s most famous goal, the spectacular stoppage of play against Queens Park Rangers who won the title for City on the final day of the 2011-12 season.
City manager Pep Guardiola, who is a former Barcelona coach and made Aguero a more versatile striker during their time in England, was at Camp Nou. City fans sang Aguero’s name in the team’s 7-0 win over Leeds on Tuesday.
âOne of the best strikers ever,â City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne wrote on Twitter.
Aguero, who joined City from AtlÃ©tico Madrid in 2011, suffered injuries in his last two seasons at City and was cleared to leave. He signed for Barcelona, ââwhere he believed to bond with close friend and Argentine teammate Lionel Messi only to have the seven-time World Player of the Year join Paris Saint-Germain due to the club’s financial woes.
Aguero missed the start of his first season at Barcelona due to fitness issues and was only making his second start for the team when he felt discomfort in his chest against Alaves and came out just before half-time .
âThe decision I made,â Aguero said. “I took it for my health.”
For Argentina, Aguero has scored 41 times in 97 appearances, placing him third on the national team’s top scorers list, having made his senior debut in 2006. It happened between two titles. worlds for Argentinian youth teams.
Aguero’s only major title with Argentina came at this year’s edition of the Copa America, in which he barely featured, and he also won Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008. He made three World Cups and was a second-half substitute in the 2014 final as Argentina lost 1-0 to Germany after extra time.
Aguero was one of the youngest players to debut in Argentina’s Premier League, aged 15 for Independiente. He had raised the possibility of ending his career at the Buenos Aires club.
Aguero has scored 427 goals in 786 games during his career.
âI can be very happy with the titles I won,â said Aguero. “Everyone can always give a little more, but I think I did everything the best I could be on myself and my clubs.”
Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80
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