Argentina and Barcelona forward Sergio Aguero has announced his retirement from football at the age of 33.
At an emotional news conference, attended by his former manager Pep Guardiola, Aguero revealed his decision to finish his playing career with immediate effect, following a recent bout of cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).
Announcing his decision, 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.
“I want to thank Atletico Madrid who took a chance on me when I was 18 and Manchester City; everyone knows who I feel about City and how well they treated me there.”
After 10 years at Manchester City, during which he scored 184 Premier League goals, Aguero left on a free transfer this summer, taking a 50% pay cut to join Barcelona.
He scored his first goal for Barça as a late substitute against Real Madrid in a 2-1 defeat in October’s Clasico. A week later, he suffered an irregular heartbeat and breathing difficulties in a game against Alaves, and was ruled out for three months.
Rumours arose that he was preparing to announce his retirement in early December, and heightened when this news conference was confirmed earlier this week.
A reliable goalscorer, Aguero ends his career with over 400 goals for Independiente, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Barcelona and Argentina, and honours that include five Premier League titles, a Europa League, a Copa America, an FA Cup, an Olympic Gold Medal and six League Cups.
His greatest moment for many will be the last-minute goal he scored against QPR on the final day of the 2011-12 season to clinch Manchester City’s first Premier League title over rivals Manchester United.
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