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Sergio Aguero: The Champions League is a special competition, but Manchester City’s job is far from over against Real Madrid

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Stake.com’s global representative, Sergio Aguero, looks ahead to Manchester City and Real Madrid’s clash in the Champions League semi-final, recalls his memories of his famous goal against Queens Park Rangers he scored 10 years ago to clinch the Premier League title. Aguero also has his say on the talented young players at Barcelona and reacts to Argentina’s World Cup group draw.

Kevin De Bruyne and Karim Benzema makes Manchester City vs Real Madrid a big match

The end of the season is always an exciting time of year because it’s when the biggest matches of the year take place.

All through the season, there are big matches - every game in the league is important and every knockout match is very tough to win - but there is nothing like the Champions League.

Semi-finals are always the hardest games to play in because once you’re in the final you are so close to winning the competition and anything can happen, which means both teams in the semi-final will be absolutely desperate to win and get to the final.

That’s the position that Manchester City and Real Madrid find themselves in ahead of their match, neither team will want to lose.

The first match at Manchester City was amazing, it is why the Champions League is so good, two amazing teams playing attacking football with players on the pitch that are the best in the world.

For me, Kevin De Bruyne is one of the best midfielders in the world and Karim Benzema one of the best strikers, so to see them both playing like this was so good.

It was always so special to play with Kevin De Bruyne because he was so good with moving the ball exactly where he wanted it.

He only needs one look to know where you are or where you are going to move and he’ll get the ball to you immediately, his speed and accuracy with passing is like nobody else.

Benzema is playing really well now. He’s scoring more goals than ever before and is right at the best of his game which has helped Real Madrid win La Liga and could help them in the Champions League, he’s very good.

Manchester City will be ready for a tough match, despite Real Madrid celebrating their La Liga title win

Real Madrid already won La Liga, so they will probably be very focused on this match.

Carlo Ancelotti is a very good manager with lots of experience and will have his team ready for the match, so Manchester City will expect a tough game.

Pep Guardiola should be happy with his team in the first match against Real Madrid because they played some amazing football and scored some really good goals, if the team is playing well and scoring you need to make sure you’re in control of the game and then you have a good chance of winning.

Three goals for Real Madrid is not perfect for Manchester City, but they are ahead and away goals do not change things anymore.

Real Madrid have already beaten PSG and Chelsea to get here in the Champions League, and they are two of the best teams - the Champions League winner from last year and the best team in France with Lionel Messi and so many stars.

City know this and have to have 100% focus on the match and not think they have won until the final whistle because Real Madrid fights until the end, they will want to win and City can’t think the job is done.

I don’t think Manchester City will play in a different way to normal for the match in Madrid.

This team is so good because there is a lot of talented players and a lot of them have played for Guardiola for a long time and know exactly what they need to do - there is only one way of playing and everybody understands that.

Maybe the formation or people on the pitch change but they all work towards the same goal of winning and making it a hard game for Real Madrid.

Manchester City will be more determined than ever to win the Champions League

The Champions League is so hard to win and we got so close in 2021.

The manager, coaches and all the players that played in that game will really want to win it this year and they have a very good chance, but you have to be there.

Liverpool beat Villarreal and for Manchester City or Real Madrid, that is going to be a very tough game in the final.

Guardiola has already won so much with Manchester City but he will want to win the Champions League with them because then it means they are the best team in Europe, which nobody can argue.

It is the one trophy that Manchester City have not won so to do it this year will be very special and everyone will be very motivated to win. At Manchester City, we wanted to win every trophy that we could.

My memories of the goal that won the 2011-12 Premier League

A lot of people ask me about my goal against Queens Park Rangers when we won the Premier League in 2012 - I have scored a lot of goals and it's always this one people want to talk about, but I can see why.

The game was so hard and Queens Park Rangers were making it very difficult to play the way that we wanted to play.

We had to keep calm and trust that we would stay in front - but we didn't want it to be this late.

We had a lot of players in the attack at the end and we had to make sure the defenders could not get too close to us because they could clear the ball or push us away.

In the end we had Vincent [Kompany] and Mario [Ballotelli] with Yaya [Toure] in attack so they could hold the ball close and move it in the attacks.

When I got the ball at the end I saw Mario [Ballotell] was free so I thought if I give it to him and he holds it, I could get it back in some space.

When the ball came back to me I can't remember exactly what went on in my head but I knew I just had to score.

Afterwards, I find it hard to remember everything because there was so much noise and everyone was shouting, it was so loud.

We deserved to win the title that season so it was such a good feeling to finally win as it was the first time we won the Premier League. It is definitely one of my favourite goals I've ever scored.

Barcelona need to be patient with Xavi and the young players to become the best again

There has been a lot of changes at the club in the last two or three years - some players have gone and some managers have changed - so they are now getting ready to be the best again.

At Barcelona, the standard is very high and you are expected to always do as best you can, and that means also to win trophies too.

Winning trophies is in Barcelona’s history and something the team has done a lot in the last 10-15 years, so to have one season without one is very strange.

Xavi won so many trophies so he knows this is hard for the club right now.

But Xavi is a good coach and is making the team happy and he now needs to get some time because there are so many talented young players at the club, Pedri, Ansu Fati, Gavi, Ferran Torres, and everyone needs to let them have time to play at their best and then Barcelona can celebrate trophies again.

To rush and change lots of things will not be the best for the young players because they need time and an environment that is stable so that they can learn and develop so that they can be at their best for Barcelona.

A good start in the World Cup group stage is very important

Argentina found out who they will play in the World Cup group games, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland.

In the World Cup there are zero easy games because every team has worked so hard to play there and will want to do their very best so it is unlike any tournament.

The group stage is very important because you want to get a good start to the tournament so that you can get better and play at your best and grow as a team.

Argentina supporters turn every city blue when they travel, it’s amazing, and Mexico fans are so passionate about their team as well so that match in the group might be one of the loudest games ever.

The players will be focused and not distracted by anything, whoever has the most control over everything - the football, the game and the occasion - will have a good chance to win.