Barcelona striker Sergio Aguero announced his retirement from soccer on Wednesday due to recently discovered heart problems.
Aguero, 33, hasn’t taken the field since Oct. 30 when he left a match with breathing issues and chest pain. He was admitted to the hospital for testing, which revealed he had a heart arrhythmia. The club said he’d be out for three months for more testing and treatment, but Aguero decided to make it permanent when doctors told him he would be risking his health if he continued his career.
Aguero, who spent 10 years at Man City before joining Barcelona six months ago, was tearful and emotional when he made the announcement in front of teammates, friends and family.
“This conference is to communicate that I have decided to stop playing football. I have decided to stop playing professional football – it’s a very difficult moment. The decision that I made I have taken for my health, because of the problem that I had a month and a half ago. I was in the good hands of the medical staff who have done their best and have told me that the best thing would be to stop playing. So 10 days ago I made that decision. I want to tell everyone that I did everything possible to have some hope but there wasn’t very much.
“I am very proud of the career I have had – very happy. I always dreamed about playing football since I was five years old when I first touched a ball. My dream was to play in the top division; I never imagined I would get to Europe so I want to show my gratitude to everyone.”
Originally from Argentina, Aguero played for Buenos Aires’ Independente before signing with Atletico Madrid in 2006 at 18 years old. He’d score 102 goals in his five years in Madrid before moving to Man City. He’d spend the next decade there, helping them win their first Premier League title, and then four more on top of that. He’s also Man City’s all-time leading scorer, with 260 goals in 390 appearances. He also scored 41 goals in 101 appearances for Argentina’s national team.
Community rallies around Aguero
This is a difficult moment for Aguero, who wants to keep playing but has decided to stop to protect his health. But the community showed up to support him as he made the announcement. Barca’s entire first-team squad was at Camp Nou for the announcement, as were representatives from all of his past clubs. Friends and family were also present, as was Pep Guardiola, his manager at Man City (and also a Barca legend).
Man City posted beautiful tributes to Aguero on social media.
A number of his former Man City teammates wished him well and thanked him for his contribution to the game, as did other players and several clubs.
Amigo, sé que ha sido una decisión difícil y dura la que has tenido que tomar pero te vas como una LEYENDA. Para mi ha sido un orgullo compartir tantos momentos juntos, dentro y fuera del terreno. Eres mi partner in crime! 🅰️⚽️Mucha suerte en tu nueva etapa! #KunAguero pic.twitter.com/4s7as9QsAk
— David Silva (@21LVA) December 15, 2021