SERGIO AGUERO will be keen to end his time at Manchester City with the big one, the Champions League title.
He needs it to prove that he still has a future at the highest level, and because so far in an undoubtedly great career the most glittering silverware has eluded him.
He won the Europa League with Atletico Madrid 11 years ago, setting up Diego Forlan for both his goals in a 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. But he has yet to land the Champions League – or the main prize with Argentina.
In both 2005 and 2007 he was part of a national team that won the World Under-20 title. And in 2008 came the Olympic gold medal. But there has been no silverware at senior level.
He has played four versions of the Copa America, losing two finals on a penalty shoot out. And there have been three World Cups, including the final in 2014.
Aguero is Argentina’s all time third top scorer, behind Lionel Messi and Gabriel Batistuta, and in front of a lot of great players. But he lacks an outstanding tournament at senior level.
Often he seemed to be feeling the effects of the long club season by the time the tournaments came round. He was at his sharpest, with thanks due to the Pep Guardiola fitness regime, in Russia 2018.
But the team around him were a shambles, and his two excellent goals counted for nothing.
There still may be a last chance with Argentina. There is a Copa America co-hosted by Argentina in just over two months time, and, more importantly, there is the World Cup at the end of next year.
Aguero may feature, though he is being eased out as national team centre forward by Lautaro Martinez of Inter Milan.
But what about his future at club level? Many fans of Independiente are excited by the prospect of a return to Argentina. Aguero started with Independiente, making his first team debut at the age of 15.
The club managed to rebuild their stadium with the proceeds of his sale to Atletico Madrid. There has always been a dream – which the player has done much to nurture – that he will come back and grace the stadium he helped build.
By an amazing coincidence the current coach, Julio Cesar Falcioni, was also in charge when he was sold.
But the time might not be right. And there is a big obstacle – which goes by the name of Lionel Messi.
Back in 2005 Aguero and Messi roomed together in Holland where Argentina were playing the Under-20 World Cup. They struck up a firm friendship, which has stayed strong over the years.
It is perhaps a pity that their off the field chemistry has not been seen on the field at club level. But that might be coming to an end.
Both Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain have expressed an interest in signing Aguero at the end of the current season. This probably has as much to do with Messi as it does with Aguero.
In the case of PSG, bringing Aguero on board is a way of enticing Messi to move. In Barcelona’s case, it would be encouragement for Messi to stay.
Meanwhile, though, Messi is already out of this year’s Champions League. Sergio Aguero is still in the hunt – as Borussia Dortmund might find out to their cost on Tuesday.
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