Sergio Aguero announces retirement from football due to heart condition

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Barcelona striker Sergio Aguero has announced his retirement from football at the age of 33 due to a heart condition.

Aguero has not played since the end of October, when he was taken off during the first half of Barca’s draw with Alaves after experiencing chest pain.

Barcelona later announced that the discomfort had been caused by an arrhythmia — a broad term to describe any heart rhythm that is not completely normal — that would require treatment over a three-month period.

The former Manchester City forward has since had regular cardiac exams to monitor his health, with the results advising him it would be a risk to carry on with his professional career.

He announced his retirement at a news conference on Wednesday, joined by Barca president Joan Laporta.

Sergio Aguero alongside Barca President Joan Laporta at wednesdey press conference

 

An emotional Aguero said: “This conference is to announce I have decided to stop playing professional football. It is a very difficult moment. The decision I have taken for my health; the problem I had a month and a half ago.”

“I have been in good hands with the medical staff. I made the decision 10 days ago after doing everything possible to have some hope of playing on. I am very proud for my career. I always dreamed of a professional career since the first time I touched a ball at five.”

Sergio Aguero playing for Atletico Madrid

“I want to thank Atletico Madrid, who took a chance on me when I was 18, and Manchester City, everyone knows how I feel about City and how well they treated me there.”

Sergio Aguero for Manchester City 2016/17 season

Barca legend and City manager Pep Guardiola was in attendance at Camp Nou alongside director of football Txiki Begiristain. The entire Barca first-team squad and representatives from Aguero’s former clubs were also present.

 

“I feel OK right now. Obviously the first two weeks were really difficult,” Aguero added. “When they did the first physical test on me, the medical staff told me there was a very big possibility I would not be able to continue playing.”

“I am still processing everything. Then they called me to tell me it was definitive. Right now, I am OK, but I know it was difficult.”

Aguero joined Barca on a free transfer in the summer from City. A calf injury delayed his debut until October, with his first goal coming in the Clasico defeat to Real Madrid.

Sergio Aguero”s time at FC Barcelona

“Sergio, I think, as we just saw, we are left with deep joy and excitement with what you could have been here at Barcelona, but anything you need with your condition we are here at your disposal,” Laporta said.

“You will be remembered not just as a player, but as a friend. A new journey awaits, and I am sure it will be just as successful. You deserve it.”

Aguero was making just his fifth appearance and only his second start for his new club in the Alaves game on Oct. 30 when he experienced breathing problems.

Aguero burst onto the scene in Argentina as a teenager with Independiente before signing with Atletico Madrid in 2006. He scored 102 goals in five years in Spain before joining City in a deal worth around €40 million.

In Manchester, Aguero scored the dramatic last-minute winner against Queens Park Rangers on the final day of the 2011-12 season to help City win their first Premier League title.

In total, he won 15 trophies in England, including five league titles, and is City’s record goal scorer with 260 goals in 390 appearances.

His role in City’s growth over the past decade saw the club announce recently that he would be honoured with a statue outside the Etihad Stadium alongside Vincent Kompany and David Silva.

Aguero has also won 101 caps for Argentina, scoring 41 goals, and was part of the squad that won the Copa America last summer and was a runner-up at the World Cup in 2014.

Aguero”s Iconic last minute winner againts QPR

 

When asked to recall his favourite goals, Aguero replied: “The goal for Independiente against Racing when I was 17 was one of the best that I ever scored. Winning the Europa League with Atletico was a really happy moment, and then obviously with City the goal I scored to win the first Premier League, for me and City, was a beautiful moment”.

“There are a lot, and the last was the Copa America. I only played two or three matches, but it was something that we had been looking for for years and years.”

“And of course, I will take my last goal against Madrid. It is not bad for a last goal, is it?”

 

Njidda Usa/ESPN

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