As Manchester City fans slowly and steadily come to terms with footballer great Sergio Aguero’s move to Barcelona, there is a sudden reminder they could be forced to start from scratch. On this day (July 27) in 2011, Agüero signed for the Citizens from Atlético Madrid. The 33-year-old spent a period of 10 years with the English giants, winning plenty of silverware during the journey. Aguero won the Premier League five times, the League Cup six times, the Community Shield three times and the FA Cup once. The 33-year-old scored 260 goals and recorded 73 assists during 391 games, making his presence felt through good times and bad.
“Aguero is going to be fantastic”
The signs were visible from his very first game, with one of the most explosive 30-minute cameos in Manchester City history in the opening encounter against Swansea. Swansea were the visitors to the Etihad Stadium, with City leading 1–0. The latter dominated the game, but the scoreline certainly didn’t reflect it. The 23-year-old Argentina striker was on the bench, having signed from Atletico Madrid a fortnight ago. aguero He ended the previous season as their top scorer, accumulating 27 goals in all competitions.
The attacker certainly had plenty of talent in his arsenal, widely regarded as one of the most promising young prospects in Europe. However, his short stature, along with his lack of experience in English football, made it difficult to ascertain whether Agüero would be able to transition to the rigors of the Premier League.
The Argentinian dispelled any doubts by making his presence felt with a superb performance, scoring twice, one of which was a 30-yarder, before netting the second with a superb flick that sent David Silva past Formulated for smooth finish.
After the game, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini said, “He’s not 100% yet, but he’s going to be fantastic for us.”
Mancini’s words were certainly reflected in Aguero’s progress, as the Argentine developed into one of the most powerful strikers English football has ever seen. The attacker finished his first season at Manchester City with 30 goals in all competitions, the last of which emerged as the most iconic goal in Premier League history.
The Citizens had waited 44 years to win the PL, with the last win being recorded in 1968 when Francis Lee, Colin Bell and Mike Summerbee ruled. When the team needed a winner in the final match against Queens Park Rangers (QPR), Aguero held his nerve under pressure after netting a solitary assist from Mario Balotelli. The goal helped City snatch the title from cross-town rivals Manchester United, who had dominated English football for 20 years.
“If We Blow Our Title Chance, I’ll Kill Myself”
“The last day of the 2011/12 season was a crazy situation because we knew the scenario we needed to win the title, but I thought I would die if we didn’t win or I would kill myself if we took away our title. ” Chance! OK, maybe it’s a bit dramatic, but it felt like there was nothing to look forward to if we failed,” Aguero said afterwards, pointing out the importance of the win.
While experts and the public were forced to sit up and take note of the immense talent this new entrant boasted, it hardly came as a surprise to former Independiente coach Oscar Ruggeri and ex-Atletico Madrid teammate Diego Forlan. It was a matter
“When I arrived at Independiente, they told me that there had been an incident in the academy. One day I called him to train with the first team and he killed everyone. He immediately gave us confidence” Ruggeri said.
Forlán cited playing alongside Aguero as one of the reasons he joined Atlético Madrid.
“Playing with Aguero was one of the reasons I joined Atlético de Madrid”
“Playing with him was one of the reasons I joined Atlético de Madrid. I first saw him on television in Argentina, where he made his debut at the age of 15 for my old team Independiente. A boy stood up against the men. He scored a goal in the derby and I jumped off the sofa in shock,” said the great striker.
The striker ended his journey in the Premier League with the best minutes-to-goals ratio in the history of the popular tournament. Agüero managed to surpass fellow legend Eric Brook, who had held the record for 78 years as Manchester City’s all-time leading goalscorer.
“The best overseas player ever to play in the Premier League. A great centre-forward without any weaknesses,” said Alan Shearer, the Premier League’s all-time leading scorer, on how highly he rated the Argentine.
Aguero will certainly continue to enjoy a soft corner in the hearts of Manchester City fans, as evidenced by the two tributes shared by the long-term supporters.
“Aguero’s arrival changed the direction of Manchester City forever”
“I remember the time I started supporting City. It was 2009-10 and City had won their first silverware (FA Cup) in a while, the season I started supporting them. Must have been a good sign, right? Cut to the following season and I saw the arrival of Argentine striker Sergio Aguero, with City signing for a huge amount. A debate had already started around me about how all the money in town is cash and of no consequence. It was tough being a City fan in India back then. You were one of the few and surrounded by fans of old clubs like United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea who were shouting about the rich history of their clubs. I think Aguero’s debut gave each of these fans a harbinger of what was about to happen in store. An impressive 2 goals and an assist in 30 minutes against Swansea established him as a threat to defenders in the league. And it didn’t stop there. In fact, it never happened,” said Arihant Chaturvedi, a City fan from Bangalore.
“Not even until his last game for City where he again came off the bench to poetically end his career here with another brace. His arrival, along with players such as David Silva and Yaya Toure, changed the club’s direction forever. Every City fan talks about the ‘Agueru’ moment, and for me too, it is a moment that will always be etched in my mind. The fun of seeing it live was something else. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was watching the game on my TV, walking around my hall with my whole family waiting for City to win, seeing how stressed I was about the game, haha. The moment he scored, I completely broke down. It’s a form of happiness I’ve never experienced before and probably never will until City lift the Champions League trophy, I suppose. The plan was to get 93:20 tattooed on my arm for the 10th anniversary, but then the pandemic happened. Hopefully soon,” he said.
“Aguero has been one of the best strikers the Premier League has seen and will always see from the start. He is the kind of player who single-handedly influenced millions of people to support the club. He is a true legend of the game and will be sorely missed here at City.”
“Will forever be grateful for Aguero’s service to Manchester City”
Another supporter, Mylius Kalapati, admitted that he was not sure about Agüero joining the Citizens.
“I have been a City fan since the 2008/09 season and I remember very well that at that time we were linked with many top players including Iker Casillas and Kaka. However, none of this materialised. During the summer transfer window in 2010, there was a lot of talk about Sergio Aguero and to be honest I think the fans didn’t believe that he would actually come to town from a big club like Atlético Madrid. The cities were very new on the European stage. When he finally signed for us, there was great excitement and I still remember his debut in the PL against Swansea. We knew he was someone special,” he said.
“As they say, the rest is history, for a fan like me, can’t overcome his goal against QPR on the last day of the season to clinch the PL. I think as fans, we root for the club Will always be grateful for their service,” concluded Mylius.