Sergio Aguero starts long farewell

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 00:00 | By

London, Tuesday

Sergio Aguero, who will always be associated with a single gilded moment in Manchester City’s history, is starting his long goodbye from the club with his position secure as one of the Premier League’s all-time greats.

Fans in the blue half of Manchester are coming to terms with the impending departure of the 32-year-old striker, who will leave when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Aguero joined City from Atletico Madrid in 2011, three years after the club was taken over by Abu Dhabi owners, and will leave after 10 trophy-laden years as the club’s record goalscorer, with 257 goals in 384 games so far.

“When a cycle comes to an end, many sensations arise,” the Argentine wrote on Twitter.

“A huge sense of satisfaction and pride remains in me for having played with Manchester City for a whole 10 seasons -- unusual for a professional player in this day and age.”

Aguero has won four Premier League titles, with a fifth looking almost certain this season for City. Pep Guardiola’s side also remain in the hunt for a historic quadruple.

City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has revealed a statue of the striker has been commissioned to stand alongside those currently being made to honour Aguero’s former team-mates David Silva and Vincent Kompany.

“Sergio’s contribution to Manchester City over the last 10 years cannot be over-stated,” said Al Mubarak. “His legend will be indelibly etched into the memories of everyone who loves the club and maybe even in those who simply love football.”

Team-mate Kevin De Bruyne hailed him as a “City legend forever” while City defender Aymeric Laporte described him as a “class act” on and off the pitch.

Aguero has struggled with injuries since having knee surgery in the close season. A hamstring problem complicated his comeback and then he had to sit out a month after a coronavirus infection.

The player himself is adamant he is far from finished, saying he is ready to face his new challenge”.

Even nine years after the event, it is impossible to separate Aguero from the goal that forever earned his place in the hearts of City fans.

Manchester United were seconds away from celebrating yet another Premier League title, prolonging the agony of their neighbours, who had not been crowned English champions since 1968.

But Aguero had other ideas, receiving the ball from Mario Balotelli and thundering home a finish to secure a 3-2 victory against QPR and send the Etihad into raptures.

There is even a 93:20 lounge at the stadium in a nod to the timing of Aguero’s dramatic title-clinching winner.

The Argentine became the club’s record goalscorer when he overtook Eric Brook’s 78-year landmark in 2017 and is now far out on his own. -  AFP

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