Barcelona striker Sergio “Kun” Aguero announced on Wednesday that he would be retiring from football at the age of 33, after being recently diagnosed with a cardiac arrhythmia.
“This press conference is to communicate that I’ve decided to stop playing soccer. It’s a very hard moment but I’m at peace with the decision I made,” a visibly emotional Aguero said.
Aguero made the announcement during a live press conference at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, where he was joined by the club’s president Joan Laporta, with his former Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola watching on in attendance.
Aguero’s first serious medical issue surfaced in October, when he was taken to hospital following Barcelona’s 1-1 draw against Alaves, in which he experienced chest pains and breathing difficulties during the game.
“First is my health, you know the problem I had a month or so ago. I was in the good hands of the doctors, who told me it was best for me to stop playing and I made this decision a week or 10 days ago. I did my best to see if there was any hope but there hasn’t been much,” a tearful Aguero said.
Considered by many as one of the best strikers to ever play the game, Aguero signed for Barcelona in the summer on a free transfer from Manchester City, where he had scored 184 goals in 275 Premier League appearances, making him the club’s all-time top scorer, as well as the fourth highest in Premier League history.
The Argentine striker only made his debut for Barcelona in October after recovering from an injury and went on to make just five appearances for the “Blaugrana” team, scoring once in a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid.
Aguero, though, acknowledged the many successes he’s enjoyed during his illustrious career.
“I am proud or happy for my career. Since I was five years old, I have dreamed of playing soccer, being in the First Division [in Argentina], I never thought of arriving in Europe,” Kun said.
“Thanks Independiente, Atlético de Madrid, who bet on me when I was 18 years old, the people of City, who already know how I feel, I have left the best.
“To Barça, it has been incredible, I knew that I was coming to one of the best clubs in the world, but things happen for a reason. And to the Argentina national team, which is what I love the most,” Aguero added.
Aguero moved to Manchester City from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and lifted five Premier League titles, one FA Cup and six League Cups during his time at the Etihad Stadium.
The striker’s highlight at the Manchester club saw him score an iconic last-minute winning goal in dramatic fashion against Queen’s Park Rangers, which secured City’s its first Premier League title back in 2012.
The forward scored 41 goals in 101 games for Argentina and represented his country at three World Cups and won the Copa America earlier this year.