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Sergio Agüero came to Manchester City FC with expectations to match a reported €40m price tag – and having made a flying start in England, he is now turning his thoughts to the club's UEFA Champions League debut.
The 23-year-old Argentina forward ended his five-season spell at Club Atlético de Madrid this summer having scored more than 100 goals in Spain and won the UEFA Europa League. And the former CA Independiente striker took only nine minutes of his City debut against Swansea City FC to open his Premier League account, soon making another goal before scoring again with a superb long-range strike. Since then he has added four goals more, including a hat-trick in Saturday's 3-0 defeat of Wigan Athletic FC, lending weight to his claim that he feels no burden from his hefty price tag.
"I don't feel any pressure," Agüero told UEFA.com. "
I think that if the club have that faith in me, it is because they need me and I hope that I can show that on the pitch and do the things that I have always done from the time that I started at Independiente, then at Atlético. I carry on doing the same things, and now that I am with City, I want to keep on doing that in the same manner."
City host SSC Napoli on Wednesday in their first appearance in the UEFA Champions League, a competition that 'Kun' twice graced with Atlético. "I think [City can succeed], but we have to take it slowly. First of all we need to think about the initial matches, and then further down the road, we will see," Agüero said. "The Champions League competition is very hard and all the games will be tough, so we have to be prepared. We have a good squad, so I think that we can achieve something."
Agüero's move to Manchester has brought him together with Argentina team-mates Carlos Tévez and Pablo Zabaleta, and the latter's advice has been welcome. "I spoke a lot to Pablo and also with Carlitos, but most of the time with Pablo because we know each other from a long time ago. We spoke about many things and he gave me some insights into the city and the club, and in general about things over here."
After his remarkable City debut, manager Roberto Mancini declared: "Sergio is a photocopy of Romário, they are the same player." The Italian is not the first to link the Argentinian international to the former Brazil favourite. "Well I have been compared to him before," said Agüero. "I had another manager, César Menotti, tell me that I was similar to Romário, and I was 16 back then, so yes, I try to be myself and to have that comparison made because of my own name, and not his.
"Obviously I am happy to be compared to him because he is a very good player. He is retired now but he was world-class, and I am happy about that, but I do want to be recognised because of my name and not another player's name."
Another great whose name is often mentioned in the same breath as Agüero is Diego Maradona, his father-in-law. "We never speak about football," he explained. "Sometimes we do when the matches have already taken place, but we always keep in contact and talk about how he is doing, how I am doing, but nothing else. We also talk about the family, but overall football is football all over the world so he always tells me the same thing – football is the same wherever you play, so just carry on in the same way and things will be OK."
Things will certainly be alright for City if their new signing keeps up his current form on Wednesday, when Maradona's former side, Napoli, will have their work cut out keeping him quiet.
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