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Sergio Agüero retires: Why he is a modern great

Sergio Agüero has confirmed his retirement from football at the age of 33; UEFA.com gives credit to a modern great.

Watch all Sergio Agüero's Champions League goals
Watch all Sergio Agüero's Champions League goals

Manchester City's all-time top scorer, Sergio Agüero has confirmed his retirement from football after discovering that he has a heart condition while playing for Barcelona.

UEFA.com gives 'Kun' his due.

What they say

"When I arrived at Independiente, they told me there was a phenomenon in the academy. One day I called him in to train with the first team and he killed everyone. He convinced us immediately."
Oscar Ruggeri, former Independiente coach

Sergio Agüero great goals
Sergio Agüero great goals

"Playing with him was one reason I joined Atlético de Madrid. I'd first seen him on television in Argentina, where he made his debut aged 15 for my old team Independiente. A boy stood out against men. He scored one goal in a derby and I jumped up off the sofa in astonishment."
Diego Forlán, former Atlético team-mate

"He's a legend, and part of history in the club. Agüero's numbers speak for themselves – he is amazing."
Josep Guardiola, Manchester City manager

"Thank you for all the good times you brought to our club you absolute LEGEND good luck in the future."
Liam Gallagher, ex-Oasis singer

Career tally

International: 101 appearances, 41 goals
UEFA club competition: 109 appearances, 63 goals
European domestic competition: 518 appearances, 297 goals

Claims to fame

Atlético de Madrid
• Agüero had a splendid record in home games against Barcelona, scoring twice in a 4-2 victory in March 2008 and a double in a 4-3 thriller exactly 12 months later.

• He won the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League, registering two crucial away goals that sent Atlético through to the quarter-finals at Sporting CP's expense.

• Agüero totalled 74 Liga goals across five seasons with Atlético, reaching the 20-mark in 2010/11.

Sergio Agüero: All his Champions League goals for Man. City
Sergio Agüero: All his Champions League goals for Man. City

Manchester City
• "Agüerooooooooo! I swear you'll never see anything like this ever again!" commentator Martin Tyler famously yelled when, with 93:20 on the clock, City's No10 scored the goal against Queens Park Rangers in May 2012 that won the Cityzens their first top-flight championship since 1968.

• Both of Agüero's UEFA Champions League hat-tricks, group stage to final, came in a City shirt. His side were 2-1 down at home to Bayern München in November 2014 when the Argentinian international struck twice in the last five minutes to complete his treble and give City a shot at qualification away to Roma on Matchday 6.

• Agüero picked up the Premier League Golden Boot for his 26 goals during 2014/15.

• He became the fifth player to score five in a single Premier League game on Saturday 3 October 2015. With the Sky Blues trailing at home to Newcastle United, City's star man struck five times in 21 minutes either side of half-time as his team turned a 1-0 deficit into a 6-1 win.

• 'Kun' became the 16th player to reach 50 UEFA club competition goals when he scored for City in their opening UEFA Champions League group stage game of 2017/18 – a 4-0 win at Feyenoord.

• The second goal in his hat-trick in the subsequent league match, a 6-0 success at Watford, was his 200th top-division strike since he came to Europe.

• Agüero scored his 178th City goal against Napoli on 1 November 2017 to break Eric Brook's 78-year-old club record.

• He notched 21 Premier League goals in both 2017/18 and 2018/19 as City claimed back-to-back titles, and completed his collection of English domestic trophies by lifting the FA Cup in 2018/19.

• The Argentinian overtook Thierry Henry (175) and Frank Lampard (177) in the list of the Premier League all-time leading marksmen in 2020. He signed off for City with 184 goals, behind only Andy Cole (187), Wayne Rooney (208) and Alan Shearer (260) – though he leads them all as the record holder for Premier League goals with one club.

• His final appearance for City came as a 77th-minute substitute in the UEFA Champions League final against Chelsea. His side lost 1-0.

Barcelona

Agüero celebrates what proved to be his only goal for Barcelona
Agüero celebrates what proved to be his only goal for BarcelonaGetty Images

• The striker joined Barcelona on 31 May 2021 but never linked up with his long-term Argentina team-mate Lionel Messi, who moved on to Paris. He played five games for his new club (four in the Liga, one in the UEFA Champions League) and scored against Real Madrid on 17 October, but was sidelined after a heart problem emerged during a match against Alavés on 31 October.

What you might not know

• Agüero was given the nickname 'Kun', which he sported on the back of his Manchester City shirt, as a child by his grandparents owing to his resemblance to a Japanese cartoon character called Kum Kum from his favourite TV series. 

• He became the youngest debutant in the Argentinian first division when he was sent on as a substitute for Independiente against San Lorenzo on 5 July 2003, just a month after his 15th birthday.

• Agüero was a FIFA U-20 World Cup winner in 2005 and 2007. He was awarded the Golden Ball and Golden Boot at the latter tournament in Canada after bagging six goals in seven appearances.

• There is an odd parallel between Agüero's first games for Independiente and City. He remembered: "When I debuted here at Manchester City, I had the No16 shirt and I came on for Nigel De Jong, who was No34. When I debuted at Independiente, I had the No34, and I came on for the guy who had No16."

• Only Messi (80) and Gabriel Batistuta (54) have scored more goals for Argentina than Agüero (41).

• Agüero is not a fan of hot weather and liked the rain in Manchester as it helped him get to sleep.

• Messi wrote the foreword to 'Sergio Kun Aguero: Born to Rise: My Story', which was published in 2014. He was Messi's room-mate with the national team.

What he says

©Getty Images for UEFA

• "My nickname is different in comparison to most athletes, so I have grown to appreciate it because it's unique. It's not every day an athlete is nicknamed after a cartoon character!"

"I like tricks, I like to dazzle. Dribbling and leaving your opponent on his backside is what life is for. If I achieve what I want to, then I'll mark a different era in football. I'm the Che Guevara of modern soccer."

"[The last day of the 2011/12 season] was a crazy situation because we knew the scenario required to win the title, but I felt I'd die if we didn't win or that I'd kill myself if we blew our title chance! OK, maybe that's a little dramatic, but it felt like there would be nothing to look forward to if we failed."