Full Name: Sergio Leonel Agüero del Castillo
Left Atlético in: 2011
Currently playing for: Manchester City
Squad Number: 10
DoB: 2 June 1988
Buyout Clause: €45m
Previous Clubs: Independiente (2002-2006)
Sergio Leonel Agüero was undoubtedly the shining light in an unbalanced Atlético team during his years in Madrid. The young Argentinean forward has drawn many comparisons to compatriot Diego Maradona over the years, and it’s not hard to see why.
Agüero made his debut for Independiente in his homeland on the 7th July, 2003. He became the youngest player to play in the Argentine League at the age of 15 years and 35 days, breaking the record previously set by who else? Diego Maradona.
Since then, Kun, as he was affectionately nicknamed by his grandparents after a striking resemblance to anime character KumKum, flourished in Buenos Aires and scored 23 goals in 53 appearances in his three seasons for El Diablo Rojo.
In May 2006, an 18-year old Agüero signed for Atlético Madrid for around €23 million, smashing the previous Atleti transfer record.
Kun played in every league game in his first season with Atlético, and it took him little time to score his first goal for the club. In his first start with los Rojiblancos on the 17th September 2006, Agüero netted the first of six goals he would get that season. A healthy start to his career in Madrid.
The 2007/08 season was to be infinitely more successful for the young forward. After Fernando Torres departure to pastures new in Liverpool, Agüero picked up the mantle and proved he was worth every penny of his transfer fee.
Again he played in every league game, scoring 19 times, finishing up third in the running for the Pichichi Trophy. Marca named him the second best player in La Liga behind Raúl. He had set expectations of himself even higher, and he wasn’t to disappoint.
The following season, Agüero’s partnership with fellow South American Diego Forlán thrived and the two forwards scored 49 goals between them. Kun netted 17 of them, whilst Diego Forlán earned the 2008/09 Pichichi with 32 goals in 33 league games.
The highlight of the season came at the Vicente Calderón on the 1st March. Atlético were trailing league leaders Barcelona 2-0 after goals from Thierry Henry and Agüero’s national team-mate Lionel Messi. With the situation looking dire, Kun and Forlán rallied the Atlético team and grabbed two goals each to come from behind and stun the Catalans with a 4-3 win.
The 2009/10 campaign was even more fruitful, with Agüero grabbing 20 goals in a season that saw Atlético win the Europa League and reach the final of the Copa del Rey. His successful partnership with Forlán continued and Agüero lifted his first silverware with los Colchoneros.
The following season was arguably Agüero’s best in the rojiblanco shirt, although Atleti struggled and stumbled to a 7th place in la Liga. For the first time during his period in Spain he breached the 20-goal mark in the league and he went on to score 27 goals in all competitions, including his first hat-trick for the club in what would later turn out to be his last game with Atleti.
After the final match of the season, away at Mallorca, the then vice-captain issued a public announcement stating his desire to leave. There had been rumours of a pre-agreement with Real Madrid and Kun admitted to being open to joining any club. Atlético director Gil Marín refused to let Agüero leave to the cross town rivals and a two month period of frustration and speculation commenced, before a solution was finally found.
When in August 2011 Kun returned from the Copa América he was able to strike a deal with big spenders Manchester City, who gave him the new challenge he was looking for and who were willing to meet Atlético’s demands. City reportedly paid €43m for Agüero’s services.
Agüero scored 102 goals as a Rojiblanco during his five years at the Vicente Calderón.
Sergio has done little to quash the comparisons with Argentine legend Diego Maradona. In fact, quite the opposite, as he is currently engaged to Maradona’s youngest daughter, Giannina. On the 19th February 2009, it was announced that Giannina had given birth to Agüero’s son, Benjamín.
Internationally, Kun made his full debut for Argentina as an 18-year old against Brazil in a friendly in London.
He has appeared for Argentina at a number of major tournaments. In 2005 Agüero was the youngest player in the U20 World Cup, which Argentina won, with Kun earning a penalty in the final against Nigeria. In 2007 he was the star of the show at the same tournament. Agüero captained the side in the final against the Czech Republic and scored the equaliser in what turned out to be a 2-1 win.
The forward had led the U20s to the U20 World Cup title, grabbing a host of personal accolades on the way. He was named as the best player in the tournament, earning the Golden Ball award. He also picked up the Golden Boot as the top-scorer in the tournament with six goals in seven games. Lionel Messi had accomplished the same feat just two years before.
Agüero appeared in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, winning a gold medal, scoring two goals in the space of five minutes against Brazil in the semi-finals.
He made his first appearance at the FIFA World Cup Finals in South Africa in 2010, with father-in-law Diego Maradona the national team coach. Although he didn’t score, he was credited with an assist for Gonzalo Higuain’s goal late in the group stage game versus South Korea, which they won 4-1.
In the 2011 Copa América, hosted in his home country, Kun greatly impressed for Argentina after initially starting on the bench. With three goals in the group phase of the South American tournament he earned a spot in the team, which had been taken over by Sergio Batista, but the Albiceleste disappointed on their own soil and were knocked out in the quarter finals after losing to Uruguay on penalties.