May 24, 2021 9:32:22 am
For Sergio Aguero, it’s 184 goals and out as he bids farewell to the Premier League.
Could there be one final scoring hurrah in the Champions League?
The 32-year-old Aguero scored twice in a fairytale last appearance in English soccer as Manchester City completed its title-winning campaign by thrashing Everton 5-0 on Sunday.
City’s record scorer moved onto 260 goals for the club with one game remaining _ the Champions League final against Chelsea in Porto on Saturday.
The Argentina striker is likely to start on the bench for the match but City manager Pep Guardiola didn’t rule out Aguero scripting one last amazing chapter to cap his 10 years with the team.
Manchester City give Sergio Aguero the send off that he deserves 👏 pic.twitter.com/dTU5sSwD9y
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) May 23, 2021
Asked if Aguero could play against Chelsea, Guardiola said: “Of course. We have five substitutions. He has a special feeling, he has something special.
“Of course he will be ready if we need him to help us win the Champions League.”
The post-match ceremony, which saw City’s players and staff lift the Premier League trophy for the fifth time in 10 seasons, included a special tribute to Aguero in recognition of a City career that reached its heights at the end of his first year there. That was when he scored the stoppage-time winner against Queens Park Rangers in the final game of the season to clinch the title for City.
Aguero’s final season at City has been blighted by injuries but he showed against Everton how lethal he still is, scoring twice after coming off the bench with 25 minutes remaining.
“Before the game I felt so strange, the sensation is not good. I prefer to think about the good moments,” Aguero said. “I’m a striker, my target is to score goals, so I’m so happy because it’s my last game and to score two goals is fantastic for me.
“When I came here, the first title for me was the most important, for the club and for me. Then Man City started to win more titles so I’m so happy because it’s not easy to be 10 years at one club. For me it’s an honor.”
Guardiola suggested Aguero would soon be signing a contract at Barcelona.
“Maybe I’ll reveal a secret. Maybe he is close to agreeing a deal for the club of my heart, Barcelona,” said Guardiola, who used to play then coach at the Spanish club. “He’s going to play alongside the best player in all time, Lionel Messi.
“I’m pretty sure he’s going to enjoy it.”
Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden also scored Sunday as City showed no sign of letting up ahead of the Champions League final.
“We’ve enjoyed the last two weeks, every moment, of being champions. Now today we celebrate but tomorrow we train,” Guardiola said.
“Then we will have a day off and then we have two or three days to prepare for the final.”
“He is a special person for all of us. He is so nice. He helped me a lot. We cannot replace him. We cannot.” 😢
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 23, 2021
Everton, which had gone into the game with a chance of qualifying for Europe, was overwhelmed on an emotional afternoon that saw fans return to the Etihad.
The Merseysiders, for whom Gylfi Sigurdsson missed a penalty, slumped to a 10th-place finish in the standings.
It was a first chance for City’s fans to salute the champions and acknowledge their European exploits, and they certainly made their presence felt throughout the afternoon. Before the game, big numbers spilled into the streets as City’s team coaches made what is normally a straightforward journey from the nearby training complex to the stadium.
Only 10,000 were permitted inside the stadium but the atmosphere they generated inspired the team.
Everton formed a guard of honor to greet City players as they came onto the field and players from both sides then did likewise for Aguero.
Supporters would have to wait to see the Argentine in action, however. The striker, having been troubled by a muscular injury in recent weeks, was not fit enough to play the full 90 minutes and had asked Guardiola if he could start from the bench.
Aguero ended his Premier League career at No. 4 in the competition’s all-time scoring list, behind Alan Shearer (260), Wayne Rooney (208) and Andy Cole (187).
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