The usually composed Pep Guardiola broke down in tears when paying tribute to the departing Sergio Agüero after the striker’s 389th, and final domestic, Manchester City appearance at the Etihad Stadium.
Agüero scored a fitting brace in a mesmerizing appearance, albeit as a substitute, in City’s 5-0 win over Everton and an emotionally-distraught Guardiola was left wiping his eyes during an interview in which he could not contain himself from using the f-word, forcing Sky Sports to proffer an apology on his behalf.
“We love him so much,” City’s manager said of Agüero.
“He’s a special person. He’s so nice. He helped me a lot … We cannot replace him, we cannot. There are many players in this club – Joe Hart, David Silva [are others] – who helped us to be this club. We have his legacy. He showed his quality in 30 minutes.”
Agüero’s latest brace extended his record for City to 260, and racking up 184 in the Premier League to pull ahead of Wayne Rooney at Manchester United for the most in the competition for one club. The club legend has agreed to join Barcelona until 2023.
“It’s my last [home] game but I’m so happy,” Agüero said.
Guardiola acknowledged his decision last November to extend his contract to 2023 may have had a positive impact on the team.
“Maybe we showed the next season we are the same people, we are working together,” he said.
“And maybe they realised, ‘OK, with this fucking manager we stay next year’ – and that is why we keep running, keep fighting, keep trying to play good games.”
The next imperious challenge for City is the coming Saturday’s Champions League penultimate final against Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea.
Guardiola described the occasion as a “dream come true” for the club and said he would consider using Agüero.
“He has something special, Sergio, and of course he is ready if we need him to help us win the Champions League.”
Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia