Aguero QPR

In the summer of 2011 we were holidaying in Spain. One evening we found ourselves in the little town square of Los Montesinos for an evening meal. The waiter was a young Englishman who had lived in Spain for some years. We got talking football, that universal language. I had read something on the internet that day about Manchester City buying some guy called Aguero. 

I asked the waiter who would have seen Aguero playing for Atletico Madrid what he thought of him. He was not at all happy. He was a United fan and thought that Aguero was going to be a hit. He waxed lyrical about him and I have to say that I went back to our house that night quite encouraged about this guy Aguero.

A decade later and Sergio Aguero is an all time footballing hero of mine, up there with Colin Bell, Johan Cruyff, George Best and more recently Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and David Silva.

I remember Aguero’s first game. He came off the bench with 30 minutes left and scored twice and added an assist. It seems fitting that in his last game, this weekend against Everton, that he also came off the bench with around the same half hour remaining and scored twice. That sent City fans back at the Etihad for the first time in a while, there to cheer a 5th Premier League Trophy presentation in Aguero’s ten years. An Aguero double. What a bonus. It was perfectly scripted and deeply emotional.

In a career bookended by those two substitute appearances Sergio Aguero scored more Premier League goals than any other player has ever done for one club. He was a goal machine.

For me his brilliance was his ability to score half chances and goals out of nothing. You felt that if the midfielders, wingers or overlapping full backs could get the ball anywhere near him in the penalty area that he could do magic things.

He had this awesome balance, could swivel and swing. He could conjure volleys from ridiculous angles, his pièce de résistance. In seven of his ten seasons he scored 28 goals or more. When you have a player who can create something from nothing or finish what is not even a half chance you can go far. City did.

Add to the ability the humility and sense of the collective and you have an even better player. Sergio never seemed selfish, always seemed loved by his team mates and even in a final season when he could have been complaining about not getting games he simply got on with and was ready when he was needed. Phil Foden speaks about how much he has learned from Aguero. Mentor too!

His last season hasn't been his best. In his early 30s Sergio seemed more prone to injuries but worse for him he seems to take longer to get back to fitness after an injury. This must have caused some doubt in Pep's mind about how much he could depend on Aguero at this stage.

The English game is the most demanding. He might have a couple of good years left in Spain. Barcelona! When Messi didn't join him at City last season I thought it might go the other way round. Let us hope we don't meet in the Champions League next spring!

Of course the reason he will always have legendary status at City is that moment that is perhaps the most iconic memory in the English game. City needing a goal with less than two minutes of injury time left in the last game of the season to over haul Manchester United already winners at Sunderland. Somehow Mario Balotelli lying on the ground touches the ball to Aguero on the edge of the box. Aguero takes it past a QPR defender, stays on his feet and smashes it into the back of the net. City have won their first title in 44 years.

The commentator’s AGUEROOOOOOOOOO is minted. As memorable as “They think it’s all over, it is now” in the 1966 World Cup Final. When you hear the word you see Aguero running away, shirt off, swinging it like a windmill, before the entire team fall on top of him.

I’ll never forget where I was. I had left disconsolate, disbelieving depressed as City trailed 2-1 with a minute left of normal time. That most iconic moment in my team’s history and I was in my back garden sulking.

BUT… I have watched that goal more times than any other and every time I do I burst into tears. Every single time.

Yet that was only one goal. There have been 260 other goals in all competitions - volleys, thunderbolts, headers, tap ins. Everyone a moment of joy for supporters bereft of joy for almost 40 years before he arrived. 

I am sure as he has been a blessing to us, he has been a curse to the red side of Manchester. I wonder about my waiter in Spain. He knew his football. He knew the quality of this this 23 year old Argentinian who was heading to City. The rest is history. 

Thank you so much Sergio Aguero for writing that history with your genius. We love you. We will miss you. May you keep on scoring as long as it is not against us!


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