Sergio Aguero has officially called time on his professional football career, just weeks after suffering a heart scare.
The Barcelona man revealed he had taken the advice of doctors before coming to the difficult decision, bringing the curtain down on an illustrious career full of goals and trophies in Europe and South America.
As the 33-year-old hangs up his boots just six months after leaving City for Barcelona, Mirror Football has picked out seven of his greatest moments after the kind of footballing legacy any player would be proud to leave.
What is your favourite Sergio Aguero moment? Have your say in the comments section
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Announcing himself at Independiente
When asked to name his favourite moments at his retirement press conference, Aguero began by referencing a goal he scored when he was just 17 years old.
If anyone looked for it afterward, having never witnessed it before, they would not have been disappointed.
Independiente’s derby against Racing is one of the biggest in Argentina, and the team’s willingness to throw a teenage Aguero in at the deep end spoke to the quality he had already shown.
If you didn’t anticipate Sergio Aguero becoming a star before this moment, you soon knew he would become one.
A first European trophy
Aguero admitted there were times at the start of his career when he didn’t know if he would ever play in Europe, let alone thrive there.
However, after leaving Independiente for Atletico Madrid in 2006, he quickly showed his move to Spain was just the start.
It was there that he won his first major trophy, helping Atleti beat Fulham to win the 2010 Europa League.
The Argentine might be best known for his achievements in front of goal, but he has been prepared to show a more unselfish side when needed.
This manifested in the final in Hamburg, where he started up front with Diego Forlan and laid on the winning goal for the Uruguayan with just minutes of extra-time remaining.
Aguero would get his goal in the Super Cup final three months later, as Atleti got the better of Champions League winners Inter Milan.
*That* title-winning moment for City
As far as debut seasons go, it’s hard to beat Aguero’s introduction to the Premier League.
He had just one more season at Atletico after the Europa League title, and got off to a goalscoring start at City with an impressive double against Swansea City on his debut.
However, as we now know, the best moment – and the most dramatic – was yet to come.
Scoring 30 goals in your first season at a new club is impressive on its own.
Scoring 30 and winning the title is even better, especially when it ends a 44-year drought.
Scoring your 30th in the final minute of the final game of the season to give your team that trophy? Well, that’s the sort of thing that few could imagine even in their wildest dreams.
A stunning European hat-trick
City failed to win the Champions League in Aguero’s decade with the club, but it wasn’t for want of trying.
Long before the run to the 2021 final, a Manuel Pellegrini-managed side were in danger of going out with a whimper in the 2014-15 competition before their number 10 intervened.
City had taken just two points from their first four group games, and defeat against a Bayern Munich side boasting a 100% record would have all but sealed their elimination.
With Edin Dzeko and David Silva among those absent through injury, Aguero had to do the heavy lifting, despite his own injury concerns.
And he did more than that, putting City ahead and then scoring twice more in the final five minutes after goals from Xabi Alonso and Robert Lewandowski had left City on the brink.
Aguero ended his City career with 36 Champions League goals for the club – more than Thierry Henry for Arsenal and the same number Didier Drogba scored in the competition for Chelsea, which gives an idea of the company he kept.
A ruthless 20 minutes against Newcastle
Manchester Evening News)
Only a handful of Premier League players have scored five times in one match, and none have left as short a gap between the first and fifth goals.
Aguero took his time to get off the mark in City’s victory over Newcastle in October 2015, equalising just before half-time as Aleksandar Mitrovic had given the visitors hope of inflicting a third straight league defeat on Pellegrini’s team.
However, when the second half got underway, the Argentine was unstoppable, hitting four more goals over the course of just 17 minutes, with Kevin De Bruyne having time to contribute one of his own in the meantime.
Aguero’s 184 Premier League goals remains the highest ever total from a foreign player, with the closest active player – Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku – still some 68 goals adrift.
City themselves might have struggled to keep pace at the top in the 2015-16 season, but few can blame Aguero for that as he finished the campaign with 24 league goals, just one fewer than golden boot winner Harry Kane.
Making up for lost time with Argentina
Injury issues plagued Aguero around the 2014 World Cup, and his fitness for that tournament remains a big what-if for Argentina.
The striker missed their quarter-final and was only fit enough to appear off the bench in the following rounds, so some will always wonder whether Aguero firing on all cylinders would have made the difference between defeat and victory in the final.
He was in better shape in 2018 but Argentina weren’t the same force, meaning his goals in Russia weren’t quite enough to make a difference.
Aguero’s first World Cup goal arrived against Iceland, with his second not quite enough to stop France’s march through the tournament.
After further injury issues in 2021, Aguero was at least able to join the party at the Copa America, playing several games as Argentina ended their long trophy drought.
A Clasico goal and what might have been
Aguero’s Barcelona career was over before it really got started, leaving plenty of fans wondering what he might have achieved if he wasn’t forced to retire.
Even with only a few games to work with, though, he still managed to contribute a goal in his first and only Clasico against Real Madrid.
It was a vintage Aguero finish, as he ghosted away from his marker to send a first-time finish beyond Thibaut Courtois, and it looked effortless as ever.
“Everyone’s been incredible” Aguero said of his treatment at Barcelona when announcing he had played his final game.
“It’s without doubt one of the best teams in the world. I’m very grateful.”
While he has had to call an early end to his career, he will undoubtedly be missed by everyone in the game.