Sergio Aguero: Player Profile

City’s Aguero Firing On All Cylinders

Personal information
Full name:
 Sergio Leonel Aguero Del Castillo
Date of birth: 2 June 1988
Age: 26
Place of birth: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height: 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position: Striker

Club information 
Current team:
 Manchester City
Number: 16

Youth career 
1997–2003: Independiente

Senior career
2003–2006: Independiente 54 Appearances, 23 goals
2006–2011: Atletico Madrid 234 Appearances, 101 goals
2011– Manchester City 139 Appearances, 92 goals

National team
2004: Argentina U17 5 Appearances, 3 goals
2005–2007: Argentina U20 7 Appearances, 6 goals
2008: Argentina Olympic 5 Appearances, 2 goals
2006– Argentina 59 Appearances, 22 goals

Sergio Aguero is a man on fire at the moment. Leading the Premier League standings with 12 goals and coming off a stunning Champions League performance Last Tuesday evening. Aguero’s hat-trick propelled Manchester City to a 3-2 victory over Bayern Munich—a win that kept the English club’s flagging hopes of qualifying for the knockout rounds of the Champions League very much alive.

With 10 minutes remaining at the Etihad Stadium, City’s European dream looked to be on the verge of another premature end, with Bayern 2-1 up and looking comfortable despite having been reduced to 10 men after just 20 minutes. That was before Aguero, who had already scored once from the penalty spot, twice took advantage of defensive mistakes to turn the game on its head, staring down Manuel Neuer—almost unanimously regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world—and beating him twice, in one of the most clinical attacking performances you could wish to see. Aguero already has 17 goals for his club this season, a record that compares favourably with every striker in Europe besides Cristiano Ronaldo, who is operating in another goalscoring stratosphere at the moment. The Argentine has 12 goals from 10 starts in the Premier League (he came on as a substitute in each of City’s opening two games), a rate that leaves him on course to score 38 goals over the course of the campaign. Last season’s Premier League top scorer, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez, scored 31 (albeit from only 33 appearances).

Capable with his left foot and his right, despite his lack of height, his manager, Manuel Pellegrini, also seems comfortable playing Aguero as a lone striker. That is a measure of his talent; an all-round package that few other strikers in the game currently have. Bayern saw for themselves his clinical ability in front of goal, even if both late chances came from defensive mistakes. And the German giants must be kicking themselves having declined the opportunity to buy Aguero back when he was a 17-year-old playing for Independiente.

At the age of nine Aguero joined Independiente, the team he always supported, after showing great promise in several small-town teams. A few years later, but much earlier than expected, he would fulfil another dream: making his debut in the top division. He was 15 years, one month and three days old when Oscar Ruggeri, by then Independiente's coach, sent him on as a replacement for Emanuel Rivas with 21 minutes left in a game against San Lorenzo. Thus, Aguero broke Maradona's record and became the youngest footballer to play an official game in the Argentine top division. Even though seven months would go by before he would start a game with the team, Aguero had already showed great promise and appeared to be an Argentine football icon in the making. By 2005, the offers from Europe started arriving and he was transferred to Atletico Madrid for around 23 million euros. Aguero proved his class with consistent displays at Atletico and his partnership with Uruguay's Diego Forlan was dynamite for the capital city club with his pace, power and finishing ability making him a real handful for any defender. However, his love affair with the club came to an end in June 2011 when he asked for a transfer and joined the big spending Manchester City project the following month for a fee of around 39 million pounds. Aguero did not disappoint as he came off the bench to make his Premier League debut against Swansea, scoring twice and assisting another. It certainly wasn't the shabbiest of introductions from the Argentine and Aguero would go on to score 30 goals in all competitions for City in his maiden campaign. Of all the strikes, however, there was none more important than his 94th-minute goal against QPR on the final day of the season, which clinched Manchester City their first top-flight title in 44 years and immortalised the Argentine in the club's history. He has since established himself as one of the most prolific goalscorers in Premier League history, and doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon.

Some things don’t really change. Much of Aguero’s game is based on a remarkable ability to loiter just outside the defence’s range of vision before launching himself into the thick of the action. But the 26-year-old is now more than capable of getting involved in the action in any way his team requires, whether that means dropping deeper to get the ball in dangerous passing areas or playing on the shoulder of the last man.

Sergio Aguero's brilliance means flawed Manchester City remain a European threat. Having revived City's evaporating European ambitions, Aguero will now be pivotal to what they go on to achieve over the remainder of the season. It remains to be seen if Aguero can propel City to a successful title defence, with Chelsea already looking almost unstoppable. In Europe, however, they are already back from the dead. If they can beat Roma next week—and assuming CSKA Moscow don’t cause a remarkable upset against Bayern—they will be into the knockout stages. That is no foregone conclusion, but it remains eminently achievable. From that point, every team will have to respect City and their most lethal of forwards. After all, City have now beaten Bayern three times in the last three seasons, something few other teams can boast. City may still have grave weaknesses in other areas of the pitch, but Aguero’s direct, strong, cool-headed presence will always give them a puncher’s chance in any fight.