Martin Tyler says he "knew" Sergio Aguero would score the goal to win Manchester City the Premier League in 2012 as soon as he touched the ball.

Aguero, who announced his retirement on Wednesday due to a heart condition, scored the decisive goal in the 95th minute of City's last game of the season against Queens Park Rangers to seal a 3-2 win that earned them their maiden Premier League title.

City finished with 89 points that year, the same as local rivals Manchester United, but claimed the trophy on goal difference.

Commentator Tyler marked the occasion with an iconic piece of commentary, and is keen to credit his colleagues for their part in helping him frame the moment.

"I have to pay compliments to my Sky colleagues and the director Tony Mills, who was aware of what was going on at Sunderland, and we had the ability to split the screen," Tyler exclusively told Stats Perform.

"There's a wonderful sequence which Tony is responsible for where the screen is split, you can see the Manchester United players watching our monitors on the pitch at the Stadium of Light and then he moved away from the split back to me full screen of what was happening at the Etihad as the move unfolded, and Balotelli is winning the ball.

"That was all captured in full-screen and, in my case, full volume. I guess it was an amazing moment.

"The only thing I can tell you about the actual moment commentating on it is when Aguero took a touch on the ball I knew he'd score. I just knew, man. He's that good.

"He told me, nine years later, that he just hit it as hard as he could and hoped for the best!"

Tyler reveals that the aspect of that piece of commentary he is most pleased with was his momentary pause as the City fans celebrated in the stadium.

"The thing I'm most proud about is the silence between the 'Aguerooo' and that comment because it was the noisiest stadium that I can remember," Tyler continued.

"I saw [Mark Hughes] by coincidence the next evening and he said he'd never ever heard a noise in a football ground like that.

"And remember Mark played for Barcelona and Bayern as well as his years at Manchester United; been a manager for a good many years.

"And for him to say that I think, had I tried to say anything between the naming and the time I next spoke, I think it would have just got drowned out and it would have spoiled the moment.

"So that kind of that wasn't a deliberate thing to do. I just knew if I spoke, nobody would hear me. I'm a football lover. I'm sure so many people in the stadium are watching around the world would have felt exactly the same way.

"You know, it's instinct, it's what we do. It's why we're addicted to the game. It was special, and probably not a week goes by when I'm not asked about it. And I'm always happy to talk about it because yeah, it was great to be there."

Sergio Aguero insisted his retirement is not a tragedy as he looked back on an outstanding career that taught him to "turn defeat into victory".

The former Manchester City and Barcelona forward announced his retirement on Wednesday after suffering from a heart problem.

Aguero struggled with chest discomfort and dizziness, which were later attributed to a heart arrhythmia, in Barcelona's 1-1 draw with Deportivo Alaves on October 30.

After consultation with specialists, Aguero – who is City's leading scorer in Premier League history – accepted he would not be able to play again as the risk to his health would be too great.

But despite his sudden retirement, the 33-year-old insisted he would look back on his "amazing career" fondly as he reflected on the lessons football has taught him.

"I've always known that I'd give it all to have a chance to play again," Aguero said in his statement published on Twitter. However, after the last exams, I was advised by my doctors to cease practising professional football.

"Their words were sufficient to make a choice. Retiring under these circumstances is difficult, but life comes first - I've known that from the start.

"One of the many things that football taught me is that you can turn defeat into victory. This won't be any different. It's surely painful but it's no tragedy.

"A tragedy would have been another thing altogether. My thoughts are not on the time I could have played on, they are on the wonderful 18 years I did get to play.

"This amazing career will remain with me, and so will carrying it out with passion and dedication year after year. I keep the affection and care I received from each of the teams I played for when I was just a kid.

"And then at Independiente, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Barcelona, and Argentina's national team, always so dear to me. My recognition goes to the fans, who stood by me through thick and thin - your support has made me stronger."

 

Aguero left City for pastures new at Barcelona on a free transfer in July, having scored 184 times in the Premier League at a rate of one every 108 minutes, the best frequency of any player to net at least 20 in the competition's history.

Indeed, the former Argentina international could play another 2,520 minutes of Premier League action (the equivalent of 28 full games) without scoring, and he would still boast the best minutes-per-goal ratio of any player to have scored 20 or more times.

Aguero is also the Premier League's highest-scoring overseas player and holds the record for the number of goals scored for one club, while his 12 hat-tricks are another benchmark in the competition.

But as his career comes to an end, the former Atletico Madrid man heaped praise on those he has worked with.

"I want to thank all the trainers, team-mates, colleagues, staff, physios and managers who allowed me to develop my career in the best of conditions," he continued.

"My special gratitude goes to my family and friends, who were always by my side. And to my agents, the same I've kept since I was 14 years of age, who accompanied me with utmost professionalism and honesty.

"Beyond the titles I've contributed to win - something I greatly value - my biggest achievement has been earning the respect of my colleagues, and the love from the world of football.

"That's something that won't change - I'll keep it in my heart and it will make me strong for what's to come.

"Life goes on, and there's plenty of it ahead. It will be a new stage, a different one indeed, but I'll keep on just like I've done so far: always positive, with enthusiasm and joy."

Lionel Messi expressed his sadness after close friend and Argentina team-mate Sergio Aguero was forced into early retirement for health reasons.

Aguero announced on Wednesday that he has had to walk away from football after a heart issue was detected in the wake of Barcelona's 1-1 draw with Deportivo Alaves on October 30.

The 33-year-old suffered chest discomfort and dizziness, which were later attributed to a heart arrhythmia.

Following consultation with specialists, Aguero accepted continuing his playing career would be too great a risk to his health, meaning his Barcelona career has ended before it ever really got going.

Of course, his initial move to Barca after leaving Manchester City was deemed to have been centred around the possibility of teaming up with Messi, though the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner ended up moving to Paris Saint-Germain soon after due to the Blaugrana's financial woes.

Nevertheless, the pair played alongside each other for Argentina both in youth football and in the senior side, culminating in both being present as the Albiceleste ended their 28-year wait for a trophy by winning the Copa America in July.

Following Aguero's emotional news conference, Messi penned a heartfelt tribute to his friend.

It read: "Practically a whole career together, Kun... We lived very beautiful moments and others that were not so [beautiful], all of them made us unite more and more and made us greater friends. And we are going to continue living [beautiful moments] together off the pitch.

"With the great joy of lifting the Copa America so recently, with all the achievements you achieved in England…the truth is that now it hurts a lot to see how you have to stop doing what you love the most because of what happened to you.

"Surely you will continue to be happy because you are a person who transmits happiness, and those of us who love you will be with you.

"Now a new stage of your life begins and I am convinced you are going to live it with a smile and with all the enthusiasm that you put into everything.

"All the best in this new stage!!! I love you a lot, my friend, I'm going to miss being with you on the pitch with the National Team a lot!"

It is a debate almost as old as the competition itself – who is the best striker to grace the Premier League?

Let's be honest, there are many different ways of looking and none are absolutely nailed-on.

However, one area that many might point to is goals frequency.

It stands to reason. The aim of football is to put the ball in the net and the player who does it most regularly must be pretty good.

That's where Sergio Aguero comes in.

The Manchester City great announced on Wednesday that he has retired from the game due to health reasons, having had a heart issue detected over the past month and a half.

It has cut his career disappointingly short given, at 33, he seemingly still had plenty to offer – but it does provide the opportunity to look back on one of the best goalscorers of recent times.

While he enjoyed his breakthrough to a global audience with Atletico Madrid, he truly peaked at Manchester City and went on to become their record goalscorer with 260 strikes across all competitions.

Of those, 184 were scored in the Premier League, the most any player has ever scored for one club in the competition. He is undoubtedly a modern great.

But compared to the Premier League's other legendary strikers, is he the greatest?

Aguero's 184 goals in the Premier League came at a rate of one every 108 minutes, by far the best record of any player to net at least 20 times in the competition.

But what makes this even more impressive is the fact he could play another 2,520 minutes (or 28 full matches) and still boast the best minutes-per-goal ratio (20+ goals) in Premier League history.

So while Alan Shearer may hold the record for most goals, it would seem Aguero was even more lethal...

Jurgen Klopp said Sergio Aguero is one of the best players he ever managed against after the ex-Manchester City forward announced his retirement.

Aguero, who joined Barcelona from City earlier this year, confirmed his decision to retire on Wednesday at an event featuring president Joan Laporta and the Blaugrana's first-team players, while representatives of the 33-year-old's other clubs – including Pep Guardiola – also attended.

The Argentina international suffered chest pain in a LaLiga match against Deportivo Alaves on October 30, which Barca confirmed was down to a heart arrhythmia.

Further tests resulted in Aguero being ruled out for three months to undergo a "diagnostic and therapeutic process". After consultations with specialists, he was told it would be too great a risk to continue playing.

Aguero scored 260 goals in his 10 years at City, with 184 of these coming in the Premier League, making him the highest-scoring overseas player in the competition's history.

Having scored league goals at a rate of one every 108 minutes, the best frequency of any player to net at least 20 in the competition, Aguero could play another 2,520 minutes of Premier League action (the equivalent of 28 full games) without scoring and he would still have the best minutes-per-goal ratio of any player to have scored 20 times or more.

Aguero scored seven league goals against Liverpool, with his last such strike a thumping opener in a crucial 2-1 win in January 2019. City edged out the Reds by a single point in that season's title race.

Asked about Aguero's impact on the Premier League, Klopp – whose side face struggling Newcastle United on Thursday – told a news conference: "Massive, massive.

"I really feel for the boy. He obviously made a move to Barcelona not to retire but for another exciting move in his career, he was not able to contribute because of his issues and I really feel for him.

"He had a great career, there will be a moment where he will see that as well and see that 33 is an age where other players retire but for other reasons, but of course for him at the moment he is of course in shock, that's what you get when you have to announce something like this.

"The impact he had on the Premier League, on football, I think was incredible. The whole time at City, even before Pep arrived there, the goals he scored, the importance of the goals he scored.

"Since I'm here, when we played against City, even if he was not too busy scoring against us, he was massive. He scored a very important one I remember. I don't know him as a person but as a player I can say he's one of the best I ever faced."

Sergio Aguero is proud to look back on his career achievements after announcing his retirement at the age of 33.

The Barcelona forward confirmed his decision to retire on Wednesday at an event featuring president Joan Laporta and the Blaugrana's first-team players, while representatives of Aguero's other clubs – including Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola – also attended.

Aguero, who starred for Atletico Madrid before becoming a City great, suffered chest pain in the draw with Deportivo Alaves on October 30, which the club confirmed was down to a heart arrhythmia.

Further tests resulted in the Argentina forward being ruled out for three months to undergo a "diagnostic and therapeutic process". After consultations with specialists, Aguero was told it would be too great a risk to continue playing.

Aguero was in tears as he confirmed his retirement at Camp Nou but is happy with what he achieved throughout an astounding career.

"I was in good hands with the medical staff who did their best, who told me the best thing would be to stop playing," Aguero said.

"So, ten days ago I made that decision, but I want to tell everyone I did everything to have some hope, but there wasn't very much.

"I'm very proud of the career I've had, I'm very happy. I always dreamt of playing football since I was five, my dream was to play in the Primera [Argentina] – I never thought I'd get to Europe, so I want to thank everyone.

"Atletico took a bet on me when I was just 18, people at City – you know how I feel about City, I did everything to the best I could there, I'm very grateful because they looked after me very well, and everyone here at Barca. The team has been great to me, without doubt one of the best clubs in the world.

"I'm grateful because they treated me really well, and of course the Argentina national team, what I love the most. I'm grateful to everyone who's come today, my family, people who've worked with me, and to my team-mates – most recently of Barca – I think I always did my best to help them win.

"I also give my thanks to my team-mates who helped me to grow, and I'll leave now with my head held high, happy. I don't know what awaits me next, but I know there's lots of people who love me and want the best for me. I'm grateful to everyone who's here, all the clubs I played at, and I'll always remember the amazing things."

Aguero helped City win five Premier League titles during his time with the club – his last-gasp goal against QPR in 2012 securing one of the most memorable titles successes in the competition's history.

He left City having scored 184 times in the Premier League at a rate of one every 108 minutes, the best frequency of any player to net at least 20 in the competition's history. In fact, Aguero could play another 2,520 minutes of Premier League action (the equivalent of 28 full games) without scoring, and he would still have the best minutes-per-goal ratio of any player to have scored 20 or more.

The City player closest to that ratio (min. 20 goals) is Edin Dzeko, who scored a goal every 141.6 minutes for City in the English top flight. 

Aguero is also the Premier League's highest-scoring overseas player and holds the record for the number of goals scored for one club.

His only goal for Barcelona came in a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in October. A calf injury prevented him from playing more before his heart issue, though he helped Argentina win the Copa America in Brazil during the off-season.

Asked if he had processed the change in his life, Aguero replied: "I feel okay right now, obviously the first two weeks were really difficult. When they did the first physical test on me in the clinic, the medical staff called to say there was a big possibility I wouldn't be able to keep playing.

"I started to process then but it wasn't easy. I'm still processing everything – one of the doctors told me straight up, that's enough. When it was definitive, it took another few days to process. Right now, I'm okay but it was difficult."

Sergio Aguero has retired at the age of 33 due to a heart problem.

The Barcelona forward announced his decision to retire in a statement on Wednesday that was delivered at an event featuring president Joan Laporta and the club's first-team players.

Aguero, who starred for Atletico Madrid before becoming a Manchester City great, suffered chest pain in the draw with Deportivo Alaves on October 30, which the club confirmed was down to a heart arrhythmia.

Sergi Barjuan, interim coach at the time, said Aguero told him he was feeling "a little dizzy".

Further tests resulted in Aguero being ruled out for three months to undergo a "diagnostic and therapeutic process". 

However, after consultations with specialists, the Argentina international has been told it is too much of a risk to continue playing.

An emotional Aguero said at Camp Nou on Wednesday: "This conference is to communicate that I have decided to stop playing football.

"It's a very difficult moment. The decision I've made, I've taken it for my health, because of the problem I had a month and a half ago. I was in good hands with the medical staff, who did their best, who told me the best thing would be to stop playing.

"So, 10 days ago I made that decision, but I want to tell everyone I did everything to have some hope, but there wasn't very much."

Aguero joined Barca on a free transfer from City in July, but a calf injury meant he did not make his debut until October.

He made five appearances in all competitions for Barca, playing just 166 minutes, with his sole goal coming in the form of a late consolation in a 2-1 Clasico defeat to Real Madrid.

Aguero scored a club-record 260 goals in 390 appearances in a trophy-laden decade at City, including their famous last-gasp winner against QPR in 2011-12 to clinch the club's maiden Premier League title.

Sergio Aguero has decided to retire.

The Barcelona forward announced his decision in a statement on Wednesday that was delivered at an event featuring president Joan Laporta and the club's first-team players.

Aguero, who starred for Atletico Madrid before becoming a Manchester City great, suffered chest pain in the draw with Deportivo Alaves on October 30, which the club confirmed was down to a heart arrhythmia.

After consultations with specialists, the Argentina international has been told it is too much of a risk to continue playing.

Barcelona were the last club Aguero played and scored for in a storied career, but it'll be his exploits for Manchester City that will be remembered most fondly in the football world.

He left the club earlier this year after a decade in Manchester that cemented his status as one of City's greatest ever players – he made an immediate impact upon joining from Atletico Madrid in 2011, plundering 23 top-flight goals in his first season, including the dramatic stoppage-time winner against QPR on the final day of the campaign to seal their first-ever Premier League title. 

Using Opta data, Stats Perform looks at the legacy of Aguero's exceptional career as a matchwinner and goalscorer. 

Aguero untouchable as City's leading marksman

No City player comes close to Aguero's simply outstanding scoring record.

He left City having scored 184 times in the Premier League at a rate of one every 108 minutes, the best frequency of any player to net at least 20 in the competition's history.

The City player closest to that ratio (min. 20 goals) is Edin Dzeko, who scored a goal every 141.6 minutes for City in the English top flight. 

City's second-highest scorer in the Premier League is Raheem Sterling, though he is 102 goals adrift of Aguero on 82.

Behind Sterling is Yaya Toure (62), followed by David Silva (60), Carlos Tevez (58) and Dzeko (50).

Even when you extend it to all competitions throughout City's history, no one gets within 80 goals of Aguero, with his 260 well clear of Eric Brook (177).

In esteemed Premier League company

Sadly, the final season of Aguero's Premier League stint was blighted by injuries, restricting him to just 12 appearances and four goals.

Nevertheless, he departed England as an all-time great such was his consistent excellence in front of goal.

Indeed, only three players have scored more than his 184 in the competition: Alan Shearer (260), Wayne Rooney (208) and Andrew Cole (187). 

All three, however, required significantly more minutes to score each goal, with Aguero's rate (one every 108 mins) comfortably better than Shearer's 146.86, Rooney's 182.78 and Cole's 169.14. 

Thierry Henry is the only player to have gotten close to a similar standard in the Premier League, with the Frenchman netting every 122 minutes on average – Mohamed Salah might fancy his chances of rivalling Aguero, however. His 111 goals have been scored at a rate of one every 127 minutes.

One-club man… sort of

Aguero's goal frequency was just one of several areas where he stands out in front, though.

Of course, he was never able to topple Alan Shearer's overall record for Premier League goals (260), but Aguero has scored more goals than anyone else for a single club.

His final goal for City, a header in a 5-0 demolition of Everton back in May, saw him overtake Wayne Rooney's haul of 183 for one club (Manchester United).

Remarkably, Aguero needed 118 fewer matches to reach the landmark than Rooney, which is saying something.

Harry Kane (167) may yet surpass Aguero – though if he ultimately ends up being the Argentinian's 'heir' at City, that record may stand for quite a while.

A box of hat-tricks

It's arguable the Premier League has never seen a more insatiable striker.

Some might be tempted to kick back once they have one or two goals – sure, a hat-trick would be nice, but their job is already done…

That certainly wasn't the case with Aguero, who was utterly relentless.

His 12 Premier League hat-tricks is a record and will likely remain the benchmark for years given only Shearer (11) has reached double figures for trebles in the competition.

It wasn't a case of Aguero filling his boots against the same lowly opposition all the time either. He only got more than one hat-trick against two teams (two each versus Newcastle United and Chelsea).

One of those hat-tricks against Newcastle came in a remarkable five-goal haul back in October 2015, helping City to a 6-1 victory. Granted, four players had managed such a feat before, though Aguero did his damage in just 66 minutes on the pitch – the previous quartet all played for 90 minutes.

Among Europe's elite finishers

Rightly or not, Aguero was probably too much of a pure finisher to ever really be considered in the same standing as players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who generally scored and contributed more in general.

But there's little doubt the Independiente youth product was one of the finest forwards of his generation.

Since January 1, 2000, only five players – Cristiano Ronaldo (483), Lionel Messi (475), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (300), Robert Lewandowski (295) and Edinson Cavani (261) – have scored more goals in Europe's 'big five' leagues than Aguero (259) across his spells with Atleti, City and Barca.

His minutes-per-goal rate jumps slightly to one every 128 minutes when factoring in his time in LaLiga, which puts him 10th among players to have scored at least 150 goals in the major European leagues, but let's not forget that includes his days as a teenager as well as last season when he was having to battle fitness issues.

Sadly, we never got to see Aguero return to the heights he scaled during his peak at City, with injuries restricting him to only five appearances for Barcelona.

But given the circumstances surrounding his retirement, things could have been a lot worse. This farewell gives us the chance to happily reflect on what a privilege it was to watch Sergio 'Kun' Aguero.

Sergio Aguero confirmed his retirement on Wednesday to bring to an end a glittering career that shone most brightly during his time at Manchester City.

He spent a trophy-filled decade in Manchester, winning the Premier League title five times with a club that had never claimed the honour before his arrival.

And Aguero's goals, of which there were 260, played a huge part in that success.

On the day he revealed he had hung up his boots, Stats Perform takes a look back at 10 of the best goals Aguero scored for City.

Swansea City (H): August 15, 2011

A club-record signing following his reported £38million arrival from Atletico, Aguero announced himself with a stunning substitute cameo in City's opening game of the 2011-12 campaign. Having slid in at close range to double the advantage granted by Edin Dzeko's opener, he inventively set up David Silva's third before saving the best until last. Aguero collected Yaya Toure's flicked pass 30 yards from goal and arrowed a venomous, dipping long-range strike into the corner. It was love at first sight for the City faithful.

Norwich City (A): April 14, 2012

Carlos Tevez going AWOL for a significant chunk of Aguero's debut season in the Premier League meant a forward partnership that promised much was only viewed fleetingly. However, the dynamic Argentine duo belatedly linked up during the closing weeks of the campaign, never more effectively than in a 6-1 demolition of Norwich at Carrow Road. Tevez famously swung an imaginary golf club – in reference to his recently curtailed leisure time in Argentina – upon completing his hat-trick but the first of an Aguero double provided the game's outstanding moment. He latched on to a bouncing return backheel from Tevez, the pair's livewire movement having perplexed the Canaries defence, to thump into the top corner from the edge of the box.

QPR (H): May 13, 2012

An unforgettable moment replayed countless times, both era defining for the league and career defining for its central figure, it is easy to forget what a technically brilliant piece of centre-forward play Aguero's heroic intervention during the dying seconds of the season against QPR was. As the seeming formality of Premier League title glory slipped ever closer to the clutches of rivals Manchester United, the Argentine mimicked many of his country's great attackers by dropping into midfield. Taking possession from Nigel de Jong, an alert Aguero picked out Mario Balotelli with his back to goal. As with much before and after the eccentric Italian's time at the Etihad Stadium, what followed was not simple, but Balotelli managed to complete a return pass while on his backside. Aguero touched the ball into space beyond Taye Taiwo's lunging challenge, keeping his balance as the QPR defender clipped him. "I hit the ball as hard as I could and hoped for the best," Aguero recalled. Cue bedlam.

Liverpool (H): February 3, 2013

City's title defence the following season stuttered as their talisman grappled with fitness niggles but he was at his awe-inspiring best to snatch a draw against Liverpool. Five minutes after a trademark long-ranger from Steven Gerrard put the Reds 2-1 ahead, Aguero scampered after Gareth Barry's raking ball into the right channel and found visiting goalkeeper Pepe Reina hurtling off his line. The City man got there first and hooked home from an improbable angle out on the wing.

Manchester United (A): April 8, 2013

United were on the verge of regaining the title from their neighbours by the time City arrived at Old Trafford for the season's second derby, but Aguero served up a reminder of the misery his final-day exploits inflicted upon them 11 months earlier. There were parallels with that famous strike as he stole in front of Danny Welbeck to receive a pass from Toure and embarked upon a driving diagonal run towards the right-hand corner of the United six-yard box. Phil Jones launched a despairing lunge as his adversary superbly dug out a finish into the roof of the net.

Manchester United (H): September 22, 2013

Aguero set the tone for a rampant City derby display and a season of contrasting fortunes for the Manchester clubs, who were each under new management in the form of Manuel Pellegrini and David Moyes. Samir Nasri's backheel found Aleksandar Kolarov and the overlapping left-back fizzed over a fierce cross that Aguero contorted himself brilliantly to convert with a left-footed volley. He claimed a second in a 4-1 win and City would finish the campaign as champions, with United in seventh and Moyes out of a job.

Newcastle United (H): October 3, 2015

The Buenos Aires native's insatiable appetite for goals has never been more clinically demonstrated than when he put an overmatched Newcastle to the sword. City won 6-1 and Aguero scored five of them, all in the space of 20 minutes. Half-time did at least give Steve McClaren's men respite after their tormentor cancelled out Aleksandar Mitrovic's opener, but a brutal evisceration followed. Aguero's third was his best, when he applied a delicate dinked finish on the end of an irresistible passing triangle featuring Silva, Fernandinho and Kevin De Bruyne.

Leicester City (H): February 10, 2018

Already with the match ball in the bag, Aguero had one more thunderous trick up his sleeve in the 5-1 thrashing of Leicester in 2018. Phil Foden picked out City's penalty box animal outside his natural habitat 25 yards from goal. Nevertheless, there was only one thing on Aguero's mind as he touched the ball forward and larruped a strike past Kasper Schmeichel that crashed against the underside of the bar and bounced up into the roof of the net.

Arsenal (N): February 25, 2018

City made a nervous start at Wembley before Aguero tuned into the same wavelength as Claudio Bravo. The Chile keeper floated a goal-kick in the direction of his fellow South American, who nudged a dawdling Shkodran Mustafi, bore down on goal and lifted the bouncing ball delicately over the advancing David Ospina. The first trophy of the Pep Guardiola era was scarcely in doubt after that point.

Chelsea (H): February 10, 2019

Having earlier missed an open goal from three yards out to leave Guardiola in disbelief on the touchline, Aguero almost overcompensated with the stunning quality of his strike that set him on his way to claiming the match ball. City went on to win this game 6-0, but it was Aguero's 13th-minute thunderbolt that will live longest in the memory. He held off the attentions of two Blues defenders before rifling in a 25-yarder that left Kepa Arrizabalaga with no chance.

Sergio Aguero has confirmed his retirement, at the age of 33.

The Barcelona forward announced his decision in a statement on Wednesday that was delivered at an event featuring president Joan Laporta and the club's first-team players.

Aguero, who starred for Atletico Madrid before becoming a Manchester City great, suffered chest pain in the draw with Deportivo Alaves on October 30, which the club confirmed was down to a heart arrhythmia.

He scored just one goal for Barca – an injury time consolation in October's Clasico defeat to Real Madrid.

But it will be his time at City that will be most fondly remembered, and he undoubtedly goes down as one of the club's greatest signings.

Aguero's arrival in 2011 came three years after the Abu Dhabi United Group's stunning takeover of City drastically altered the trajectory of the club and the Premier League.

September 1, 2008 began with news of City's new ownership group – funded by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan's lavish wealth – and ended with the club-record signing of Robinho from Real Madrid, after an unlikely deadline day tug-of-war with Manchester United for Tottenham's Dimitar Berbatov.

Stats Perform marks Aguero's retirement by looking at City's best signings of the Mansour era.

DAVID SILVA

Often regarded as City's finest ever player, the mercurial playmaker arrived from Valencia for £25million in 2010 with a newly acquired World Cup winners' medal in his pocket. Silva has been integral to every City title triumph since. Whether gilding around in Roberto Mancini's powerful line-up, dazzling as the creative inspiration under Manuel Pellegrini or lifting Pep Guardiola's current vintage to new heights, City were always been a significantly better team with Silva in the line-up.

He left for Real Sociedad following the expiration of his contract in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic robbing him of a farewell in front of fans at the Etihad Stadium.

YAYA TOURE

Derided in some quarters as an over-priced defensive midfielder when he joined from Barcelona for £24m during the same close-season as Silva, Toure proved to be so, so much more. The most dominant and complete midfield presence of the era, he became City's 'clutch' player, amassing a collection of memorable goals in Wembley showpieces and title run-ins.

The towering Ivorian was indisputably at his peak when he scored a staggering 20 Premier League goals from central midfield on the way to the title in 2013-14.

SERGIO AGUERO

Aguero scored 30 or more goals in all competitions in five separate seasons during his time at City, for whom he netted 16 hat-tricks. He is the fourth-highest scoring player in Premier League history with 184 goals in 275 games, behind Alan Shearer (260), Wayne Rooney (208) and Andrew Cole (187), making him the highest-scoring overseas player, and he also holds the Premier League record for most goals scored at one club.

The most famous of them all will always be that incredible, last-gasp, Premier League-title clinching winner against QPR in 2012. His 259th and 260th goals for City came in the form of a double from the bench in a 5-0 rout of Everton in front of 10,000 supporters at the end of the 2020-21 season. 

KEVIN DE BRUYNE

Eyebrows were raised when City broke their transfer record to bring in the reigning Bundesliga Player of the Year from Wolfsburg in August 2015 following his failed spell at Chelsea. The Belgium star soon made the £55m fee seem wholly worthwhile as a relentless work-rate, vast range of passing and rasping shot from either foot established him as one of the leading lights in England's top flight.

An assist machine he was Guardiola's standout performer as City stormed to Premier League glory in 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2020-21, while his injury in last season's Champions League final was a huge blow to the Citizens as they went down 1-0 to Chelsea.

EDERSON  

Guardiola spent heavily on defensive reinforcements as he overhauled the squad left to him by Pellegrini but nobody has been a more important recruit for the Catalan than the man stationed behind his backline. Ederson brought much-needed authority to City's defence after Claudio Bravo's haphazard first season, while his composure and skill with the ball at his feet has come to define the team's style.

Without the Brazil international, it would have been impossible for Guardiola to so fully realise his footballing vision at the Etihad Stadium, and Ederson has also proved a fantastic shot-stopper. Indeed, Saturday's win over Wolves brought up his 100th clean sheet for the club in just 212 games.

RUBEN DIAS

With Vincent Kompany having left in 2019, City struggled to replace their talismanic leader the following season. Indeed, he had scored a brilliant, crucial goal as Guardiola's team went on to edge out Liverpool in the 2018-19 title race.

However, they found the heir to Kompany's throne a year later with the £65m purchase of Ruben Dias from Benfica. The centre-back slotted straight into the side and has become the key cog in a formidable defence. He was named Footballer of the Year by the FWA after his first season with City and signed a new six-year deal in August.

A little over two minutes before the moment that will forever define his career, Manchester City hero Sergio Aguero showed sharpness in the Queens Park Rangers goalmouth that would not have been out of place at Old Trafford.

Old Trafford cricket ground that is, just down the road from City's bitter rivals and their home of the same name.

As Edin Dzeko's equaliser from David Silva's right-wing corner bounced back off the netting, Aguero pounced, snaffling it like a quicksilver short-leg fielder and darting back to the centre circle for City's final tilt at the improbable.

There was certainly nothing wrong with the striker's movement after Joey Barton brazenly tried to dead leg him – one of many surreal and key incidents that fed into a frenzied and famous race against the clock on May 13, 2012.

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The whole story is now as well-worn as any in football history.

On the cusp of a first top-flight title for 44 years, Robert Mancini's Manchester City faced relegation-threatened QPR on the final day of the season. In their previous 18 Premier League home matches that season, they had won 17 and drawn the other – the most recent of those a 1-0 win over United that tipped a titanic Mancunian tussle back towards the blue side of town.

City simply needed to match United's result at Sunderland and led 1-0 at the interval thanks to Pablo Zabaleta, only for second-half goals from Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie to turn the contest on its head.

It remained 2-1 heading into stoppage time despite QPR operating with 10 men. City youth product Barton was dismissed for tussling with Carlos Tevez and responded to Mike Dean's red card by thumping his knee into Aguero's thigh before aiming a headbutt at Vincent Kompany. Fireworks enthusiast Mario Balotelli poured some petrol on this particular bonfire by confronting the combustible Scouser as he stomped towards the tunnel.

Aside from that significant blemish, QPR's discipline was otherwise impeccable. Despite ceding 81.3 possession overall and 84.1 per cent during the second half, they only made seven fouls. Stoppages were infrequent as City thrashed and flailed with increasing desperation and diminishing artistry around the opposition penalty area.

Without Barton's meltdown, there is little chance five minutes of stoppage time - or the three minutes and 20 seconds they ultimately required - would have been signalled. It was time City desperately needed and time they could put to good use with their top scorer's fast-twitch fibres bristling.

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Barton was not the only QPR man with City connections. His team-mates Shaun Wright-Phillips and Nedum Onuoha had also graduated through Jim Cassell's Platt Lane youth system, while Rangers boss Mark Hughes was Mancini's immediate predecessor, having been axed shortly before Christmas in 2009.

Hughes, of course, also played for United with distinction across two spells, and those loyalties struck a chord as news came through Bolton Wanderers had failed to beat Stoke City, meaning the Londoners were safe irrespective of the outcome at the Etihad Stadium.

"[City] got back on level terms and I always remember, at that point, I knew we were safe because the other result came in," he told the Coaches Voice in 2020.

"I'm thinking, 'I wouldn't mind United winning, if I'm honest'. It's 2-2 and Jay Bothroyd looked over, asking what we wanted them to do [from the restart]. The players understood the [Bolton] game was over and we'd stayed up. We just said kick it as far as you can, right in the corner and the game's over."

Hughes' recollections from that point credit City with a poise they absolutely lacked. Rarely can a team have scored twice in this space of two minutes and – save for a crucial few seconds – played so shambolically.

Bothroyd's hoof found touch and scampering Joe Hart ran out of his goal to take the throw-in. The England goalkeeper almost missed the pitch.

Gael Clichy carried the ball down the flank, only for his attempted cross to turn into a block tackle with Mackie. Samir Nasri's aimless, floated effort that followed did little more than give Clint Hill a ninth successful clearance of the afternoon.

Nasri then excelled himself by shepherding the ball out for a QPR throw-in. Just 40 seconds before that explosion of ecstasy there was fury and anguish in the stands. Aguero watched it all from roughly the QPR penalty spot. Apparently he'd seen quite enough.

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Aguero honed his lethal skills playing against bigger boys in Buenos Aires on the neighbourhood potrero – the hard gravel and mud neighbourhood pitches that football purists in Argentina bemoan are a diminishing presence.

"When you play you have to think fast. Who to take on, who not," Aguero said when recalling those days in a 2018 documentary for City's in-house television channel. "You know who is going to play dirty, who isn't.

"You start to realise what you can do on the pitch and what you can't."

Reflecting further in the 2019 book 'Pep's City' by Pol Ballus and Lu Martin, he further explained the proving ground that readied him for Barton and others.

"Getting kicked black and blue was all part of the game," he said. "You held on to the ball any way you could.

"Running with the ball was a whole different concept for us. I'd be up against big, tough boys and I was always the smallest. But I learned how to survive."

Aguero remembered those matches were played for the prize of a peso, which would garner one of his favourite sweet treats, an alfajor or dulce de leche.

As United's players took in full-time and three points at the Stadium of Light, and Nigel de Jong brought the ball forward in Manchester to the soundtrack of QPR celebrations – their fans aware of Bolton's fate – the stakes were somewhat higher.

Vacating his spot in a penalty area already crowded by substitutes Dzeko and Balotelli, along with a marauding Kompany, Aguero took possession from De Jong 30 yards from goal.

He faced up to a compact QPR back four, with the visitors' four midfielders all in his immediate vicinity.

"You start to realise what you can do on the pitch and what you can't."

A shuffling touch to his left engineered space outside Shaun Derry, but Aguero needed help. Ideally from someone reliable, given the complete lack of any margin for error.

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Balotelli was on the pitch in a Manchester City shirt for the first time in over a month.

Mancini had not trusted his wayward protege since a brainless red card in a 1-0 Easter Sunday defeat at Arsenal left City eight points behind United with six games to play. Tevez, who had spent the bulk of the campaign AWOL playing golf in Argentina, represented a far more dependable option.

But with nowhere left to turn, he dared and prayed for Mario to be super. However briefly.

Introduced in the 76th minute, Balotelli gave the impression he had not just been banished from Premier League arenas, but football pitches altogether since his previous game.

The Italy striker managed to run through seven attempts – two on target, five blocked – during a frenzied cameo. It was probably as well Aguero found him with his back to goal, inside the D and grappling with Anton Ferdinand.

"I tried to control the ball and I had a contact from the defender and the ball went a little bit far from my foot," Balotelli told City TV five years on. "I thought in that half second there is maybe going to be a little bit of space for Sergio."

If Balotelli had stayed upright, the likelihood is QPR would have seen through their final piece of dogged tireless defending. In being forced on to his backside for the only assist of his Premier League career, he created opportunity and chaos.

Facing his own goal, Derry had to hurdle a prone Balotelli, while Wright-Phillips' route back to defend was also compromised. With his centre-back partner grounded, Hill held his position square on, while Kompany's haring towards the six-yard box dragged left-back Taye Taiwo with him.

A pocket of space opened up. A spot of turf Balotelli was able to locate from his sedentary position. As limbs flailed around him and a tight defence scattered, Aguero was thinking fast.

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Argentina's aforementioned tradition of tough, uncompromising neighbourhood football goes hand in hand with the mystique and mythology that cloaks the country's national sport.

A playing style grounded in skill and improvisation – La Nuestra, which translates as "our way" – was locked into the collective consciousness during the first half of the 20th century. The pre-eminent football magazine El Grafico, served to deepen this romantic attachment, with depictions of the pibe – literally a kid or urchin, whose rough and ready footballing technique combined street smarts and skill and was something of an archetype. Typically they would dribble in the gambeta style, a description that implies close control, cunning and deceit of opponents.

The idea that the likes of Diego Maradona, Ariel Ortega, Lionel Messi and all those other squat, explosive and technically brilliant attackers from Argentina immersed themselves in the yellowed pages of El Grafico archive is far-fetched, but the style is unquestionably embedded. Think of the amount of barrelling, dribbling goals such players have produced – close control, small pauses and faints as thighs piston their way through defences.

As the walls were closing in on City's title bid, Aguero showed himself to be a proud product of this lineage. When Balotelli began his battle against gravity, he deftly checked his run behind and around Wright-Phillips to open up a path to the penalty area.

Letting the pass roll, he shaped to shoot, drawing a scampering Taiwo, who left his Kompany decoy a little too late to remain in control. Aguero did not actually touch Balotelli's return pass until his body position persuaded a rash slide tackle that he nudged beyond with the outside of his right boot.

With Taiwo suitably gambeta'd, there came one last stroke of fortune.

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"I touched it again and saw I was close to the goal, so I said 'I'll shoot'. The worst thing was that I wanted to shoot hard across goal and it went to the near post, I don't know what happened," Aguero told TyC Sports last year – the latter sentiment at least aligning him with every soul inside the Etihad Stadium that day.

"After watching it back, I realised that if I had shot across goal a defender could have blocked it. I celebrated the goal and told everybody, 'I hit it so well!'."

Goal 23 of a personal Premier League tally that now reads 184, one of 130 with Aguero's ferocious right boot, understandably left an indelible impression on the suddenly defeated Hughes.

"Of all the games I've been involved in, that noise at that moment when that goal went in is different to anything I've ever heard before or since.

"It was just unbelievable sound – different sound to a football crowd. It was a mixture of screaming and noise. It was just an unbelievable moment."

That racket has since been replayed thousands of times across the world. A goal on a tightrope that altered the course of English football, which began with gifting the opposition a 92nd-minute throw-in and ended thanks to a miscue after the main protagonist's strike partner fell over.

It is the Premier League's most famous goal – a moment as synonymous with Manchester as cotton mills and the Hacienda, and yet Argentinian to its very bones.

As Aguero bids farewell to football begins, expect to see it replayed another few thousand times.

Sergio Aguero has retired at the age of 33 due to a heart problem.

The Barcelona forward announced his decision to retire in a statement on Wednesday that was delivered at an event featuring president Joan Laporta and the club's first-team players.

Aguero, who starred for Atletico Madrid before becoming a Manchester City great, suffered chest pain in the draw with Deportivo Alaves on October 30, which the club confirmed was down to a heart arrhythmia.

Sergi Barjuan, interim coach at the time, said Aguero told him he was feeling "a little dizzy".

Further tests resulted in Aguero being ruled out for three months to undergo a "diagnostic and therapeutic process". 

However, after consultations with specialists, the Argentina international has been told it is too much of a risk to continue playing.

Aguero joined Barca on a free transfer from City in July, but a calf injury meant he did not make his debut until October.

He made five appearances in all competitions for Barca, playing just 166 minutes, with his sole goal coming in the form of a late consolation in a 2-1 Clasico defeat to Real Madrid.

Aguero scored a club-record 260 goals in 390 appearances in a trophy-laden decade at City, including their famous last-gasp winner against QPR in 2011-12 to clinch the club's maiden Premier League title.

Sergio Aguero will provide a statement on his future this Wednesday amid reports the Argentinian striker has decided to retire due to a heart condition.

The 33-year-old has not played since an early substitution against Deportivo Alaves towards the end of October, when Aguero had to be taken to hospital after complaining of chest discomfort.

Sergi Barjuan, interim coach at the time, said Aguero told him he was feeling "a little dizzy".

The former Manchester City player was subsequently ruled out for at least three months in order to undergo a "diagnostic and therapeutic process".

At the time, Barca said the "effectiveness of treatment will be evaluated in order to determine his recovery process", but ever since there have been mutterings in the media that Aguero decided to retire.

Head coach Xavi denied such reports a month ago, but they resurfaced in the past week, with claims an announcement was expected on Wednesday.

Barca have now confirmed Aguero will be making a statement on Wednesday.

A brief statement read: "We inform you that on Wednesday December 15 at 12:00 [CET] at the facilities of the Camp Nou, the appearance of Sergio 'Kun' Aguero to explain his future will take place.

"The event will also feature the participation of Joan Laporta, president of FC Barcelona and the player of the first team."

 

Barcelona head coach Xavi has denied reports that striker Sergio Aguero has been forced to retire.

Rumours emerged on Saturday that the Argentina international will hold a news conference next week to confirm he will not resume his playing career.

Aguero has not played a game since the 1-1 draw with Deportivo Alaves at Camp Nou on October 30, during which he was substituted after feeling dizzy and suffering apparent discomfort in his chest.

Barca later confirmed he would be unavailable for three months while doctors monitored a suspected cardiovascular problem. The 33-year-old tweeted on November 12 to insist he was "always positive" amid suggestions he would not be able to continue playing.

Xavi, who oversaw a 1-0 win over Espanyol in his first match in charge, insisted it was not true that Aguero's retirement was confirmed.

"What's come out isn't true," he told reporters. "I spoke with him, he's calm and happy. I asked him to come back when he was feeling okay."

 

Memphis Depay's penalty sealed Barca's victory over their city rivals, although they rode their luck in the closing stages as Raul de Tomas twice hit the post and Landry Dimata headed a glorious chance for an equaliser wide.

"I'm very happy with the three points and the effort of the players," said Xavi. "We're not in the best of spirits and Espanyol created a lot of problems for us. And we deserved the luck with the posts.

"I'm happy, and I think it was a deserved victory. What couldn't fail, which was the attitude, didn't fail."

The result moved Barca to within eight points of LaLiga leaders Sevilla, who earlier drew with Alaves, after 13 LaLiga matches.

While a title shot appears unlikely at this stage, Xavi – an eight-time league champion in a glittering playing career with the club – saw no reason to discount a challenge for the trophy.

"We're far away but there are matches left. I'm optimistic and why can't we fight for the title?" he said.

Sergio Aguero is "staying positive" as the Barcelona striker waits to discover if he will be forced to retire due to a heart problem.

Reports from Catalonia emerged on Friday suggesting Aguero may have to bring an early end to his playing career because of an irregular heartbeat.

The Argentina international first experienced chest pain in Barca's draw with Alaves on October 30, which the club later confirmed was down to a heart arrhythmia.

After undergoing tests, Aguero – who has started just two games for the LaLiga giants since arriving on a free transfer from Manchester City – was ruled out for three months.

Catalunya Radio reported the problem is worse than first feared and Aguero may have to hang up his boots at the age of 33.

However, the former Atletico Madrid striker took to Twitter on Friday to deny that is the case, with a decision on his future not being made until at least February.

"Given the rumours, I can say that I am following the indications of the club's doctors, doing tests and treatment and seeing my progress within 90 days. Always positive," he said.

Aguero had been carrying a separate injury upon joining Barca that has restricted him to only five appearances in all competitions this term, totalling 166 minutes on the field.

He scored his one and only goal in last month's Clasico showdown with Real Madrid, the late strike proving to be nothing more than a consolation in Barca's 2-1 defeat.

Prior to joining Barca, Aguero scored a club-record 260 goals in 390 appearances in a glittering decade at Man City, including their famous last-gasp winner against QPR in 2011-12 to clinch the club's maiden Premier League title.

The Buenos Aires-born forward also previously spent three years with Independiente and five with Atletico.

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