For many, Manchester City’s victory over Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday, November 1st was a sign of things to come. City have been steamrolling through domestic and continental competitions, showing absolutely no sign of stopping their magnificent run under Pep Guardiola. The future at the Etihad Stadium is brighter than ever. However, that night at the Stadion San Paolo shall be remembered for everything but the future – instead, it was a night of remembrance. A night for Sergio Agüero.
Simply saying his name aloud will evoke great emotion from any Manchester City fan. The diminutive Argentinean forward has been symbolic of The Blues’ rise from the depths of English football to the European super-club it has become. Perhaps this rise is best captured by comparing Agüero’s 1st and record 178th goal. On his City debut in 2011, he scored a goal against Swansea City. On Wednesday, he scored against Italian giants Napoli.
That goal on Wednesday – a quick run on a counter-attack before neatly placing the ball into the bottom corner – sent Sergio Agüero past Eric Brook as Manchester City’s all-time leading goal scorer. The Englishman’s record had stood for 78 years, but it seems quite fitting that the man who single-handedly won City the Premier League title in 2012 was the one to break it.
— Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) November 5, 2017
Sergio Leonel Agüero del Castillo joined Manchester City in July of 2011 at the age of 23. It took the former Independiente and Atlético Madrid poacher very little time to adjust to life in Manchester – he scored 30 goals in all competitions during his debut season. However, the one goal he will be remembered for is his last minute strike against QPR on the final day of the Premier League that miraculously won City the Premier League on goal difference.
Since then, “Kun” Agüero has made a name for himself as one of the best strikers to grace the pitches of the Premier League, as well as one of City’s best players of all time. Whether it be in a hard-fought Manchester derby, a dominant performance against a Premier League side, or an anxious night of Champions League play, Agüero usually managed to turn a game on its head, often by scoring a goal.
Things haven’t always been bright for the Argentinean forward at Manchester City. Leg injuries, often on his hamstrings, have nagged Sergio throughout his time wearing the sky blue kit. Over the past year or so, the 29-year-old struggled to adapt to new manager Pep Guardiola’s style of play. When Brazilian wonderkid Gabriel Jesus joined City in January, many thought the end of Agüero’s City career was near. In September, Agüero suffered a fractured rib in a car accident in Amsterdam – an accident which, by all accounts, could have easily ended his playing career if he hadn’t been wearing a seat belt.
These challenges have served only to inspire Sergio Agüero to achieve bigger and brighter things. With 10 goals in 12 appearances this season, it seems that the Argentinean will continue to score freely for years to come. Before the Arsenal match on Sunday, he was presented a blue boot after walking onto the pitch with an honor guard as a celebration of his 178-goal achievement.
“I am very proud to have become Manchester City’s leading goalscorer, and I will cherish this trophy and the amazing reception I received at the Etihad Stadium today. It is an honour and privilege to have scored so many goals for the Club and to have made a contribution to the fantastic success we have achieved over the past years.”
Turbulent times at Manchester City finally seem to be giving way to a period of unparalleled success. It is no coincidence that City have succeeded this much, especially with Sergio Agüero as the talisman. His dedication, footballing abilities, and passion for the club have made Kun a joy to watch over the past six years. “I will treasure the trophy and the beautiful gifts I have been given today,” remarked Agüero on Sunday.
Don’t worry Sergio, we will always treasure you.