A tearful Sergio Agüero has announced his retirement from football due to a heart condition barely six months after moving from Manchester City to FC Barcelona. The 33-year-old striker wiped away tears with a handkerchief and struggled to compose himself on a stage at the Camp Nou, taking several deep breaths before making a statement that confirmed his playing days were over.

A clearly emotional Agüero said:

“This conference is to announce I have decided to stop playing professional football. It is a very difficult moment. The decision I have taken for my health; the problem I had a month and a half ago.

I have been in good hands with the medical staff. I made the decision 10 days ago after doing everything possible to have some hope of playing on. I am very proud of my career. I always dreamed of a professional career since the first time I touched a ball at five.”

Agüero’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.

The 33-year-old striker has been vocal in his support of the COVID-19 vaccine. Six weeks before the incident, the football star went online to promote the vaccine to 12-year-olds (a translation of his statement is provided below):

Argentine and @FCBarcelona_cat striker, @aguerosergiokun, is calling on all people aged 12 and over to get vaccinated!

Remember, vaccinating ourselves allows the virus to not spread as easily.

#JoEmVacuno #VacunatARA

Agüero is one of the world’s most well-known players. He scored a club-record 260 goals for Manchester City and was a key player in the growth of the team as a major force in England and Europe. He had a record 12 hat tricks in his total haul of 184 Premier League goals, the most for an overseas player and the fourth most all-time.

He also scored arguably the Premier League’s most famous goal, the dramatic stoppage-time winner against Queens Park Rangers that clinched the title for City on the final day of the 2011-12 season.

For Argentina, Aguero scored 41 times in 97 matches — putting him third on the national team’s all-time scoring list — after making his senior team debut in 2006. That came between two world titles for Argentina’s youth teams.

Agüero’s only major title with Argentina came at this year’s edition of the Copa America, in which he barely featured, and he also won the Olympic gold medal in Beijing in 2008.

Agüero was one of the youngest players to make his debut in Argentina’s top division, at the age of 15 for Independiente. He had spoken about potentially finishing his career at the Buenos Aires club.

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By Daemon

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