Barcelona striker Sergio Aguero announces his retirement
Barcelona striker Sergio Agüero announced his retirement from football on Wednesday due to recently discovered heart problems.
Aguero, 33, has not taken to the field since October 30, when he left a game with breathing problems and chest pain. He was taken to the hospital for tests which revealed he had an abnormal heart rhythm. The club said he would be out for three months for further tests and treatment, but Aguero decided to make it permanent when doctors told him he would be risking his health if he continued his career.
Aguero, who spent 10 years at Man City before joining Barcelona six months ago, was tearful and emotional as he made the announcement in front of team-mates, friends and family.
“This conference is meant to communicate that I have decided to stop playing football. I’ve decided to quit professional football – it’s a very difficult moment. The decision I made was for my health because of the problem I had a month and a half ago. I was in the good hands of the medical staff who did their best and told me that it would be best to stop gambling. So I made this decision 10 days ago. I want to tell everyone that I did everything I could to have some hope, but there wasn’t very much.
“I am very proud of my career – very happy. I’ve always dreamed of playing soccer since I first touched a ball when I was five years old. My dream was to play in the top flight; I never thought I would make it to Europe, so I want to show my gratitude to everyone.”
Originally from Argentina, Agüero played for Independente from Buenos Aires before signing for Atletico Madrid in 2006 at the age of 18. He scored 102 goals in his five years at Madrid before joining Manchester City. He would spend the next decade there helping them win their first Premier League title and then four more. He is also Man City’s all-time top scorer with 260 goals in 390 games. He also scored 41 goals in 101 games for the Argentina national team.
Community rallies around Agüero
This is a difficult moment for Aguero who wants to continue playing but has decided to quit to protect his health. But the community came out to support him when he made the announcement. Barca’s entire first-team squad was at the Camp Nou for the announcement, as were representatives from all his previous clubs. Friends and family were also in attendance, as was Pep Guardiola, his manager at Man City (and also a Barca legend).
Man City have posted lovely tributes to Aguero on social media.
A number of his former Man City team-mates wished him well and thanked him for his contribution to the game, as did other players and several clubs.