Toni Kroos had a friendly prod at Manchester City and Sergio Aguero after the Premier League club unveiled a statue in honour of their former striker.

Aguero, who left City last year and has since retired due to a heart condition, is the club's record goalscorer. 

On the 10th anniversary of Aguero's last-gasp, title-clinching winner against QPR back in 2012, City unveiled a statue of Aguero's famous celebration.

However, the statue arguably looks more like Real Madrid midfielder Kroos, who picked up on that resemblance.

"Sure?" Kroos tweeted in response to a tweet from BBC Sport journalist Simon Stone, which included a photo of the statue.

It would not be the first time a statue of a player has drawn some ridicule – Cristiano Ronaldo, anyone? – but it may be the first time it has looked so similar to another star name.

Sergio Aguero said it was the goal that "changed everything" as he returned to Manchester City on Friday for the unveiling of a statue to recognise his famous title-winning strike.

The Argentinian hit City's stoppage-time winner against QPR on May 13, 2012, earning a 3-2 win that delivered a first top-flight title for the club since the 1967-68 season.

It marked the beginning of a spell of dominance for City, who are on the cusp of achieving a sixth Premier League crown in 11 seasons.

Aguero, who went on to become City's record scorer, left the club at the end of last season to join Barcelona and has since retired after a heart condition was detected.

He was guest of honour at the Etihad Stadium as a statue in his likeness was revealed, a full 10 years to the day since the goal against QPR.

The 33-year-old described that as the standout goal of his career.

Speaking to Sky Sports News and BBC Sport, Aguero said of his latest honour: "For me, it is fantastic. I'm very happy for the statue. Now I'm enjoying it, you know.

"It's special. For me, that moment changed my life, it changed the club, everything. It's the best moment in my life. That moment will always be in my heart."

"We don't know what [would have] happened if we lost the Premier League that year, so that year changed everything."

When the Premier League asked its Twitter followers on Friday whether Aguero's goal was "the most iconic moment" in its 30-year history, Aguero replied to say, "Of course", adding a laughter emoji.

A little over two minutes before the moment that will forever define his career, Manchester City hero Sergio Aguero showed sharpness in the QPR 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 Manchester United 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 short-leg fielder and darting back to the centre circle for City's final tilt at the improbable. It was 2-2, the Premier League title could still be won.

There was certainly nothing wrong with striker Aguero'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.

Ten years on, as a statue of Aguero is revealed, this is a reminder of the special moment that brought City their first top-flight league title in 44 years.

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 being 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 Barton as he stomped towards the tunnel.

Aside from that significant blemish, QPR's discipline was 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.

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," Hughes 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.

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.

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.

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 red card in a 1-0 Easter Sunday defeat at Arsenal left City eight points behind United with six games to play. Tevez represented a far more dependable option.

But with nowhere left to turn, Aguero dared and prayed for Mario to be super.

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 goal 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.

Argentina's 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.

"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 – 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 reached 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," Hughes said.

"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.

Whether 10 years on, 20 years on, or 50 years on, expect to see it replayed another few thousand times. On the blue side of Manchester, it stands as an immortal moment.

Paul Scholes and Didier Drogba lead the latest slate of inductees to the Premier League Hall of Fame, it was announced on Thursday.

Former Manchester United midfielder Scholes and ex-Chelsea striker Drogba head the remaining six names of the Class of 2022.

Patrick Vieira and Wayne Rooney had already been announced as two of the eight players to be bestowed with the honour, following last year's inaugural group of players.

They are joined now by Scholes and Drogba, alongside Arsenal legend Ian Wright, ex-Red Devils goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel and Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany.

Widely acclaimed as the greatest midfielder of his generation, Scholes – a one-club man between 1993 and 2013 – won the Premier League 11 times during his playing days.

Drogba, who spent two different spells with the Blues, proved a cornerstone of Chelsea's elevation to regular contenders in the competition.

Wright helped Arsenal to the title in 1997-98 before a brief spell with West Ham and remains the Gunners' second-highest scorer ever, behind only previous inductee Thierry Henry.

Schmeichel, who remains the only goalkeeper to win the Premier League Player of the Year Award, in 1995-96, is the first shotstopper to be inducted.

Kompany, a four-time Premier League winner during an acclaimed spell at City, helped usher in the team's modern era of dominance.

Aguero, meanwhile, is the highest-scoring overseas player in Premier League history, having scored 184 goals in just 275 appearances.

The six players were inducted via a public ballot, after Vieira and Rooney had been selected as automatic picks.

Harry Kane has been named March's Premier League Player of the Month, winning the award for a joint-record seventh time in his career.

The England captain's award takes him level with former Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, the only other man to have won it on seven occasions, and represents his first monthly prize since December 2017.

Tottenham's talisman scored four goals in March, netting a brace in a 5-0 home thrashing of Everton, as well as getting on the scoresheet in an away win over Brighton and Hove Albion and in Spurs' 3-2 defeat at Manchester United.

Kane ended the month's league action by recording two assists for Son Heung-min as Antonio Conte's side recorded a crucial London derby victory over West Ham, taking him to 17 league goal involvements this season (12 goals and five assists).

His fruitful month also saw him move level with Bobby Charlton's tally of 49 England goals, just four goals shy of Wayne Rooney's Three Lions record of 53 strikes, with a penalty against Switzerland during the international break. 

After teeing him up twice against the Hammers, Kane has provided 20 Premier League assists for Son in the Premier League, accounting for over half of the forward's 39 assists in the competition to date. 

Only Frank Lampard (who assisted Didier Drogba 24 times) and David Silva (21 assists for Aguero) have teed up one team-mate more often in Premier League history.

The Spurs duo have also linked up for a total of 39 Premier League goals, three clear of the previous record set by Lampard and Drogba, which they surpassed in February's 4-0 thrashing of Leeds United.

Spurs' push for Champions League qualification will resume on Sunday when they host Newcastle United, against whom Kane has seven goal involvements (five goals, two assists) in his last four league appearances.

Sergio Aguero has raised the prospect that he could yet return to play football, albeit as an amateur rather than a professional.

The Argentine was forced to retire last year, months after leaving Manchester City for Barcelona on a free transfer, due to heart issues.

But after a lengthy career that saw him celebrate great success with the Premier League champions and reach a World Cup final with La Albiceleste, the 33-year-old still has the hunger to play.

However, Aguero stressed any return would not be at the top level, hinting that his passion would see him merely play for fun.

"Yesterday [on Tuesday], it crossed my mind that I could play football again," Aguero told TyC Sports.

"The doctors told me that I have to spend five or six months out of action, but I already want to train again.

"I want to play recreationally. They invited me to Miami to play a game and I didn't go. I want to send a message to the doctor."

Aguero's retirement means he will play no part for Argentina at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, where his nation will be among the favourites after last year's Copa America win.

Lionel Scaloni's side will be among the top seeds with holders France, Copa America runners-up Brazil and Euro 2020 finalists England when the draw is made on Friday.

Aguero sees no reason why they will not be in the mix to lift the trophy, though admitted that the prospect of being in the same group as Germany - who beat them in the 2014 final - is a dangerous one.

"You have to watch the matches and the draw, which is key, but Argentina are always candidates to fight for the World Cup," he added.

"In the first few games, the team are going to start gaining confidence.

"If it's Germany, we still have to qualify and, on the other hand, then we'll run into each other in the latter stages. The first game is the worst, the most difficult."

Sergio Aguero "had nothing more to achieve" before his unfortunate early retirement, according to fellow Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuain.

Aguero was forced to call time on his illustrious career last December due to a heart problem following chest pains in a draw with Deportivo Alaves on October 30.

The former Manchester City star was informed it would be too much of a risk to continue playing, having made just five appearances in all competitions for new club Barcelona, who he joined in July.

While Higuain understands the circumstances behind his retirement were far from ideal, the Inter Miami man believes Aguero will reflect on his achievements fondly.

"Clearly no player wants to retire like this, but also Kun [Aguero] made an extraordinary career," Higuain, who played with Aguero during their time with Argentina, told Stats Perform.

"He is the top foreign goalscorer in the Premier League. Nobody wants to retire like that, but if he looks back he had nothing more to achieve. 

"Perhaps he lacked a Champions League, but that does not change the quality of player that he is and how he will be remembered. 

"I wish him to be happy and find something he is passionate about. Health comes first. We shared many years together and from the heart I wish him the best."

Indeed, Aguero leaves behind a remarkable legacy. The 33-year-old 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.

Even when you extend it to all competitions throughout City's history, nobody gets within 80 goals of Aguero, with his 260 well clear of Eric Brook (177).

He also boasts the most Premier League goals for a single club in history, with his final strike – a header against Everton in May – taking him past Wayne Rooney's haul of 183 for one club (Manchester United).

Aside from personal accolades, Aguero lifted the English top-flight title on five occasions, tasted success at Copa America in 2021 and raised the EFL Cup an astounding six times. 

Sergio Aguero intends to go the World Cup in Qatar and hopes it will be as part of Argentina's backroom staff. 

Former striker Aguero experienced chest pain in a match against Deportivo Alaves in October and it was determined he had a career-ending heart issue. 

However, the 33-year-old still wants to be part of Argentina's campaign in Qatar this year and hopes a role can be found for him. 

"I'm going to go to the World Cup. We are going to have a meeting this week. I want to be there," he told Radio 10 in Argentina.

"The idea is for me to join the coaching staff. I spoke with [head coach Lionel] Scaloni and also with [Argentine Football Association president] Claudio Tapia. 

"We have to try to give it a go to see what can be done." 

Aguero joined Barcelona in the hopes of playing alongside close friend Lionel Messi after the pair helped Argentina end their 28-year wait for a senior international trophy at the 2021 Copa America. 

Yet the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner ended up completing an incredible switch to Paris Saint-Germain. 

Messi came in for criticism following his display in the Champions League last-16 first-leg victory over Real Madrid, which was decided by a solitary Kylian Mbappe goal after the 34-year-old had failed to convert a penalty.

"How are the French media going to kill Messi? Leo played well. Were they watching the game backwards? Leo always plays five levels above," said Aguero.

 

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.

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