“It’s finished at Sunderland. Manchester United have done all they can, that Rooney goal was enough for the three points. Manchester City are still alive here. Balotelli……”
What Martin Tyler uttered next on 13/05/2012 will live in memory forever. Every bit of it was legendary. The moment, the scream, and of course, the name uttered.
The latter is a certain Sergio Agüero. After a one-two with strike partner Mario Balotelli, he received the ball in a pocket of space. Two seconds later, he had beaten the opposition keeper at his near post with a goal you just couldn’t believe.
That goal cemented him as a legend of English football as Manchester City won the league title after 44 years, and that too on his debut season. His last-minute strike ensured City pipped rivals Manchester United to the title on goal difference. It was so iconic that if Agüero had done nothing else in his career after that goal, he would still be considered a City hero.
But thankfully, ‘Kun’ has done something in his career, and it’s absolutely illustrious. In his ten seasons playing for City, he has netted 182 league goals for the club. He became City’s all-time leading goalscorer in 2017, and never looked back. There is no debate that he has transcended the moniker of club legend. He is a Premier League icon.
Agüero is the fourth all-time leading goalscorer in the Premier League, behind Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney and Andy Cole. He is the top foreign goalscorer in Premier League history, and also has the most hat-tricks in the league (12). If you consider him the definitive greatest striker in English football, you wouldn’t be wrong at all.
How could you be wrong, when he has given fans countless moments to remember? From his solo goal at Old Trafford to his jaw-dropping five-goal haul against Newcastle, he has consistently been a joy to watch. The same cannot be said for defenders playing against him. He has bullied backlines of every team he has played against.
Ask Virgil van Dijk, and he will tell you the Argentine is the toughest opponent he has ever faced. No doubt a lot of other great defenders would have to play at their best when Agüero is around.
The last dance
On March 29, 2021, Manchester City announced that Agüero would leave the club following the expiration of his contract. It is the end of an era for the Blue Mancs, and the end of a phenomenal chapter for Agüero.
He came from Atletico Madrid to an ambitious project in England. Ten seasons later, he leaves with cabinets of trophies, a ton of goals, and good graces from all of football.
As his time at City comes to an end, Agüero is one goal away from making more history. A solitary goal would see him match Rooney’s record of the most goals scored for a single club (183). There is no doubt he will try his best to do so in the three league games that remain. With plans for fans being allowed back into stadiums soon, he could get the farewell he thoroughly deserves.
Nobody will place their bets on Agüero not shattering more records if he stayed at City. Unfortunately, his time at the club is nearing its end. For everything he has given to the club to help them reach where they are today, he must be celebrated.
With the Premier League and Carabao Cup secured, City will look to clinch their first-ever Champions League come May 29. What better parting gift for a man who said he wouldn’t leave until they won the UCL?
Manchester City owes it to Agüero to see him off with the one trophy that’s eluded him throughout his career. There will be many City fans sad to see him go, especially because he still has plenty left in the tank. However, it is a reality they must accept. To use the old cliché, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
Smile is what the footballing world will be doing when they remember Sergio Agüero. When he plays his last game for City, it would draw the curtains on a legendary tenure. Legendary is the key word, because that’s what the diminutive Argentine is.
When we remember his time at Manchester City, we cannot help but smile.
To complete Martin Tyler’s legendary quote that fateful day, it was just missing one word. Perhaps the most iconic word in Premier League history. A word and player that is simply legendary.