Pep Guardiola paid a warm tribute to departing Manchester City legend Sergio Aguero by comparing him to Brazil legend Romario.
The Blues manager has promised that the club’s all-time leading goalscorer – who will leave the club after ten glorious years – will get the swansong the fans crave, as long as the 32-year-old striker is fit enough.
City face Everton in the final domestic game of the season and, while Aguero is likely to be in the squad for the Champions League final six days later, the Toffees clash will be his last at the Etihad Stadium, in front of Blues fans.
His fitness will be assessed tomorrow, but Guardiola says that if there is any chance at all, Aguero will play a part in the game, which will be followed by the Premier League trophy presentation and by a farewell to Aguero.
The manager was also asked about the assessment of former City assistant David Platt, who said that in the last decade, Aguero was just one step down from world greats Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I completely agree with Platt,” said Guardiola. “When he’s fit and has continuity, he’s a guy like Romario.
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“In five metres he can be like a lion in the jungle, making a step to kill the opponents. But his biggest quality is a unique sense of goal. For his last goal at Crystal Palace, he needed two or three steps. So quick, and then the quality to make the goal. He will play until 35 or 40 and he’ll always score. When he’s good in himself he can do whatever he wants.”
Guardiola and Aguero did not always see eye to eye, especially in their first season together, when the manager tried to change the club legend’s game, and preferred Gabriel Jesus after the Brazil striker’s £27million move from Palmeiras.
But they soon came to an understanding and Aguero arguably played the best football of his career under the Catalan – and scored the most goals.
Guardiola was quick to pay tribute to Aguero’s off-field personality as well as his on-field killer instincts.
“First of all he’s a nice person, funny, humble, he’s a legend – he’s come from Argentina to this country where it’s so difficult to score goals,” he said.
“He’s done it for many years. I cannot imagine how many more he’d have scored if he’d been fitter than he is.
“He was incredibly loved from the backroom staff and his quality is not necessary to add anything to his numbers. His performance when fit is incredible.
“The fans in the stadium and around the world will give him his tribute for what he’s done in terms of titles, numbers. Incredible.”