In a very emotional press conference at Camp Nou on Wednesday, Sergio Aguero announced that he will be leaving professional football behind.
The former Barcelona striker fought back tears as he made the announcement which the football world had been expecting for the past two months.
The 33-year-old joined Barcelona on a two-year contract after 10 trophy-laden years at Manchester City on July 1 2021 following an agreement reached May 31 2021.
He only played four matches for the club; two as a substitute and two as a starter. It was on his last start for the club that he felt discomfort in his chest after challenging for the ball with Deportivo Alaves defender Victor LaGuardia and had to be taken off.
It was later revealed that he had suffered a cardiac arrhythmia which was supposed to rule him out for three months.
Following several tests, it was reported that Aguero’s doctors had advised the player to give up professional football for the sake of his weak heart.
Spanish journalist Gerard Romero first broke the news of the Argentine striker’s retirement in November 202 2021, about a month into his recovery period, claiming that the striker would have a press conference the following week to announce it.
After a few more weeks of dread, the Manchester City icon finally put to bed every speculation and retired from the sport.
“I wasn’t bad, right?”
“I have decided to stop playing professional football,” the Copa America winner began, speaking to an audience that had in attendance friends, family, the entirety of Barcelona’s squad and staff, as well as representatives from his former clubs, most notably Pep Guardiola.
“When they did the first test in the clinic, the medical staff called to tell me there was a very big possibility that I wouldn’t be able to keep playing.
“I was still processing everything when one of the doctors told me straight up, `That´s enough.´”
There were many memories shared, praises showered and questions asked of the player of his future which he answered shyly but with a forced smile.
He ended his conference by saying: “I wasn’t bad, right? That’s what they tell me.”
Praise for the genius of Aguero
Fans, players, coaches, teams and prominent football personalities have taken to social media to wish Aguero well ahead of his retirement.
Pep Guardiola had previously praised him as one of the greatest Argentine footballers, comparing him to Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona.
After announcing the end of his time with Manchester City back in March, Guardiola said in a press conference before a Premier League game: “Maradona conquered Italy, Messi did it in Spain, and Aguero has done it in England, his numbers speak for themselves.”
The manager who moulded Aguero into a more rounded striker flew with City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain to be there for his most prolific number 9’s final moments as a professional footballer.
Lionel Messi pays moving tribute to Aguero
Aguero signed for Barcelona with the hopes of playing with Messi at club level. That was not meant to be, however, as his national team captain moved to PSG not long after his arrival.
Messi has taken to Instagram in a lengthy post to reminisce on their time together on the pitch for Argentina and against each other as club opponents.
“Practically a whole career together, Kun, Messi’s post began. “We lived very beautiful moments, and others that were not so – all of them made us unite more and more and be more friends, and we are going to continue living them together outside the field.
“With the great joy of lifting the Copa America so little ago, with all the achievements you achieved in England. The truth is that now it hurts a lot to see how you have to stop doing what you like the most because of what happened to you.
“Surely you will continue to be happy because you are a person who transmits happiness and those of us who love you will be with you. Now a new stage of your life begins and I am convinced that you are going to live it with a smile and with all the illusion that you put into everything.
“All the best in this new stage! I love you a lot friend, I’m going to miss being with you on the pitch a lot and when we get together with the national team!”