Barcelona and Argentina striker, Sergio Aguero, has announced his retirement from football at a tearful press conference in Barcelona, Spain.
Aguero announced his retirement from football because of a heart condition, six months after joining Barcelona from Manchester City. The striker wiped away tears with a handkerchief and struggled to compose himself on a stage at the Camp Nou, taking several deep breaths before making a statement that confirmed his playing days were over.
“This conference is to communicate that I have decided to stop playing football.
“The decision that I made I have taken for my health, because of the problem that I had a month and a half ago. I was in the good hands of the medical staff who have done their best and have told me that the best thing would be to stop playing. So 10 days ago I made that decision. I want to tell everyone that I did everything possible to have some hope but there wasn’t very much.
“I have decided to stop playing professional football. It is a very hard moment but I am happy with my decision. My health comes first,”Aguero said.
The 33-year-old experienced chest problems and breathing difficulties during Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Alavés on October 30, and was admitted to hospital for cardiological tests. The club said he would be out for three months and would undertake a “diagnostic and therapeutic process” but he has had to call time on his career before that period is up.
“I am very proud of the career I have had – very happy. I always dreamed about playing football since I was five years old when I first touched a ball. My dream was to play in the top division; I never imagined I would get to Europe so I want to show my gratitude to everyone,” the Argentine said.
His farewell was attended by representatives from Manchester City and Atlético Madrid, another of his former clubs, and Aguero who sat beside Barcelona’s president, Joan Laporta, wept again as a video of moments from his career were played on a big screen.
“I leave with my head held high – happy. I don’t know what awaits me but I know a lot of people love me and want the best for me,” he added.
Aguero is Manchester City’s record scorer, getting 260 goals in 390 appearances between 2011 and 2021, and played for Atlético Madrid after starting at Independiente in his native Argentina.
He won 101 international caps, scoring 42 goals, and was part of the Argentina squad that reached the 2014 World Cup final and won the 2021 Copa América.
“You all know how I feel about Manchester City. I did everything as best I could there. I am very grateful because they looked after me really well,” Aguero said.
Asked to detail his most memorable career moments, he first named a goal scored for Independiente against Racing aged 17, winning the Europa League with Atlético Madrid and the dramatic strike against Queens Park Rangers that secured the Premier League for City in 2012.
“There a lot of beautiful moments,” he added, going on to mention the Copa América triumph and his final goal for Barcelona against Real Madrid.