On a team with four stellar forwards, Sergio Aguero has been able to not only become the star of the season for Manchester City, but also the club’s new idol after scoring the title-winning goal in the 93rd minute of yesterday’s last English Premier League game against Queens Park Rangers.
Kun became this year’s most expensive signing for Sheik Al Mansour’s team, who had to pay up 45 million Euros to Atletico Madrid to bring the Argentine star to Manchester. Alongside Tevez and Silva, the former Independiente youth system player was set up to be the main forward in Roberto Mancini’s standard 4-3-3, but he would have to compete with Edin Dzeko and wildcard Mario Balotelli. In a team known to swallow up attackers as remarkable as Emmanuel Adebayor or Roque Santacruz, arriving as the new main striker is definitely not easy, but Aguero is used to swimming upstream.
Being just 15 years and 35 days old, Sergio Aguero made his debut with Independiente of Avellaneda, in Argentina, becoming the youngest player ever to play in the tournament. The record was previously held by Diego Armando Maradona – who coincidentally would become Aguero’s father in law a few years later. His speed and skills quickly grabbed everyone’s attention in Argentina, and he was called up to become a part of the 2005 U-20 squad that won the World Cup in the Netherlands.
Newest about the latest Argentine talent quickly spread all over the world and the latest “new Maradona” became the talk of the town. In Aguero’s case, however, his style and physique did resemble the mythical number 10. Being way faster than Maradona, Aguero’s skill with the ball on his feet was remarkable, and his ease to dribble past defenders would obviously prompt the comparisons with Argentina’s more revered player in history. His short height and powerful lower body, which also grants him a very low center of gravity making it very hard for defenders to take the ball away from him, bares a great resemblance to Diego Maradona, but Kun Aguero is a very different player from his now father-in-law.
Where Maradona was probably the best provider ever seen in soccer history, a full field player, a magician in midfield; Aguero is a finisher, a cold blodded killer, the forward every great team would love to have in its roster. His figures definitely speak for themselves: 31 goals in 54 league games with Independiente (before turning 18 years old), 74 at Atletico Madrid in 5 seasons and 24 at Manchester City in just 32 games.
He was signed by Atletico Madrid for a record-breaking 23 million euros. Five years later and an Europa League and a European Super Cup later, he would sign for the Citizens for almost double his price tag when he left Argentina. The evolution Aguero experienced in Spain was phenomenal, and he became the team’s idol rather quickly. His partnership with fellow South American Diego Forlan turned the Atletico Madrid into one of the most feared attacks, and Aguero learned to not only score goals for the Colchoneros, but to become the provider to Forlan’s killer instinct. Their connection was deep and the team’s success in the Europa League in 2010 was solely based in their ability to overcome even the most difficult situations with not always the best squad behind them.
After a wonderful 2010-2011 season at a personal level, being this the first time he would score 20 goals in his professional career, but with a poor overall team performance, Aguero decided to leave the team and announced it after the last game of the season in an open letter he posted on his Facebook page. Fans were not pleased with what they believed to be high treason, since the initial rumors pointed to Aguero’s arrival at cross-town rival Real Madrid. The Argentine was signed by Manchester City on what ended up being his second option, because Atletico Madrid directors would not allow his signing by Real Madrid.
But Aguero was quick to make friends and Manchester and his first season, even without yesterday’s game and league winning goal, would have been deemed a success by everybody. 24 goals in his first year in the EPL is definitely not something everyone can do, and even in the disappointing European performances the Citizens had this year, Aguero was one of the few players who can held his up high in front of the his fans.
After the team’s victory a few weeks back in the city derby, Manchester City could claim their first Premier League title, and their second English League in history – last time they won was 44 years back, before the Premier League was even created – by beating Queens Park Rangers. Playing at the same time as Manchester City and being tied on the table at 86 points, but trailing them due to goal differential, the Red Devils early goal against Sunderland was pushing Man City to need a victory in order to clinch the title. While QPR was fighting to stay in the EPL, they also knew a Stoke City victory or tie over Bolton Wanderes would send Bolton to relegation and save QPR, even if they were to lose at Etihad Stadium.
30 minutes into the match, Argentine Pablo Zabaleta scored off a Toure Yaya pass from inside the box, and the Light Blue team fans were able to breathe again. It seemed like finally, after 44 years, the league trophy would stay in the opposite side of town, but the match was far from over.
QPR was able to turn the game around before the 60th minute, even with one man down, after a missed clearance from Lescott gave way to QPR’s equalizer, scored by Djibril Cisse, and just a few minutes later, a breakaway down the left side, with Manchester City furiously attacking with all their players in search of the equalizer, ended up becoming the 1-2 for Mark Hughes’ side after a great diving header by Jamie Mackie. The upset was unthinkable, and Manchester United fans were celebrating all over the country. The most unbelievable scenario was taken place, and disheartened Citizen fans could not contain their tears at Etihad Stadium.
40 shots on goals and 18 corners later, Aguero would work the miracle. When everything seemed lost, at the 91st minute, David Silva connected with Edin Dzeko off a corner kick to put the equalizing 2-2 on the score board. There were still three minutes to go and Alex Ferguson and his players, still on the pitch at Sunderland, were trembling.
Then, Sergio Aguero finally appeared. After a pretty quiet match, given QPR’s defensive tactics, with up to 10 players inside their own box, the Argentine grabbed the last ball of the match outside the box, gave Balotelli a wall pass, who had to go down to the grass to reconnect with the Argentine international. Aguero was able to get past the last defender and with a faithful right-footed shot, from within the box, was able to beat Kenny and make half of the city explode of happiness.
It was a sunny day in Manchester yesterday, but it really felt as if it had rained. There were tears of joy in half of the town, by the Citizens fans who could celebrate 44 years later, and mourning tears by the other half, the Red Devils, who saw their dreams get crushed in less than 3 minutes.
And it was all Kun Aguero’s doing. A new hero has been born in Manchester.