2nd June 1988
28th July 2011
Independiente, Atletico Madrid
Argentina 45 caps, 18 goals
In July 2003 at the tender age of just 15 years and 13 days Sergio Agüero became the youngest debutant in the Argentine Premier League when he made his debut for Independiente - a record previously held by the man who became his father-in-law, Diego Maradona.
He signed for Atletico Madrid in July 2006 where he became the strike partner of Fernando Torres. His form was rewarded with a first senior cap in September 2006 and an outstanding performance in the 2007 Under-20 World Cup. Winner of both the Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards, 'El Kun' scored six goals in seven games to clinch successive Under-20 World titles.
After Torres left for Liverpool, Agüero was partnered with Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan for the 2007/08 season. This didn't hamper his progress in any way and he continued to thrive at Atletico with the striking partnership leading the club to Champions League qualification for the first time in a decade.
Agüero was named La Liga's best foreign player in 2008 - the only time in four years that Lionel Messi was not awarded the honour. After landing an Olympic gold medal with Argentina that summer Agüero continued to deliver the goods for Atletico during the 2009/10 season where his goals helped to secure the Europa League and then the UEFA Super Cup.
No wonder then that City broke their transfer record to bring him to the Etihad. However, unlike such luminaries as Steve Daley and Lee Bradbury, he did not seem overburdened by the weight of expectations. From his stunning debut strike against Swansea to THAT goal in the 94th minute against QPR he delivered time and again to secure his place in City folklore as one of the best strikers in the Premier League. Scoring 30 goals in his debut season at the Etihad Stadium, he become the first player to achieve this feat in the top flight since Francis Lee in 1971/72.
Who among us will ever forget those final minutes of the 2011/12 season? I only have to close my eyes to see the build-up and finish to his goal as if it is on a permanent loop in my brain. It never ceases to bring a smile to my face. Time seems to slow down as if it were a moment from The Matrix...the sidestep to make the space to pass to Balotelli; the deliberate flick of Balotelli's foot to play the ball into Agüero's path as he entered the penalty area; the fake to shoot to commit the defender and draw the tackle; his poise and balance after contact and his honesty in staying on his feet before slamming the ball past Paddy Kenny...See. I'm smiling right now.
His place in City history is assured.
|2.||Pope John XXIII||191|
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