Sergio Aguero: Messi in America and the new season ahead for Manchester City
Sergio Aguero - August 24, 2023
Lionel Messi is currently enjoying life in the MLS, can you ever see him returning
to Barcelona or even play in the 2026 World Cup for Argentina?
Aguero: Leo has found playing for Inter Miami to be a well-thought-out decision.
One month later, it's evident that what he is doing is perfect for this phase of his career.
You can tell when you see him that he is happy and doing what he enjoys doing most.
We should all be able to enjoy that, in my opinion.
I hope he continues to live in the now and does an even better job of winning over his supporters' devotion.
Leo is deserving of it; he has given much and will continue to do so.
Upon his team's Leagues Cup victory, I noticed several social media posts with the subject line, "Seeing Leo happy makes me happy."
Isn't that true for every one of us? We can always discuss the future, but for now, let's just enjoy the moment and let Messi be Messi.
If there was one position which Manchester City could improve before the transfer window shuts, where would it be and who would be a suitable name?
Aguero:We've witnessed significant player departures, with Gundo, Riyad, and Aymeric leaving, each having played crucial roles for City at different times.
The additions of Gvardiol and Kovacic are remarkable, and Cole Palmer's performance this season has been noteworthy.
Additionally, the exciting news of Bernardo's contract renewal has lifted spirits.
However, I believe the Club should consider bringing in additional midfield and winger options.
Seeing how other teams have strengthened their squads and considering City's busy tournament schedule, it's evident they require alternatives and rotation to maintain their performance level.
Now he’s won the Treble with City, how long will Pep Guardiola remain at Manchester City, his current contract runs until 2025, will he extend or leave?
Aguero: We'll just have to wait and see, won't we?
Pep has frequently expressed his comfort within City.
He'll need to decide at the appropriate moment.
However, considering his professional history, he has already extended his contract once before with City, whereas his periods with other teams tended to be briefer.
Why shouldn't that happen once again?
After winning the UEFA Super Cup, Man City still have another five trophies to play for this season (Club World Cup, EFL Cup, FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League). How many trophies do you think City might end the season
Aguero: As many as they possibly can, hopefully.
City does have a team that's as solid as solid can be, a clear strategy, and the key players are still there, with some very strong additions.
On the other hand, the opposition has gotten stronger and hungrier.
Each of these competitions has a different dynamic.
The smallest things can make a Community Shield slip away, as we've seen.
But I said it before: a team like City needs to win titles every season.
Last year, it was an exceptional run and my hope is that we can catch lightning in a bottle once more.
Keeping in mind how amazingly extraordinary it is to pull a treble, we'll have to enjoy what we've achieved and look forward for what's to come.
What words would you use to describe Lionel Messi's start with Inter Miami?
Aguero: It's undeniably the ‘Messi Effect’.
I was lucky to catch a few games, and while I expected him to make an immediate difference, I believe he has far surpassed all expectations.
There’s now a ‘Before Messi’ and ‘After Messi’ in the MLS upon his arrival.
They were able to put up good performances against the Mexican teams, known for their long football traditions, and their success in the League Cup proved their capability to secure wins as well.
It's no fluke that Inter Miami clinched their inaugural trophy - Tata Martino was able to build a great team within just a few matches and it appeared as though Messi, Busquets, and Jordi had been seamlessly playing alongside their teammates for years, despite it being only a month.
This remarkable beginning serves as the groundwork for what lies ahead.
This is the Messi Effect – he motivates and lifts everyone around him, his team, the club as a whole.
His presence commands respect from opponents, and it's not just Inter's fans who are thoroughly enjoying this experience.
Wherever Leo is, a revolution emerges.
Pep Guardiola has instilled ‘beautiful football’, but also incredible results at Manchester City. They’ve broken the record to win the UEFA Super Cup after a treble last season. Just what goes into the work of Guardiola in such
achievements, and what is the ‘limit’?
Aguero: Knowing Pep, I'll say he wants more.
He's in a process of continuous reinvention and thrives on finding new challenges.
Just like when his rivals bring new tactics and force him to find the counter-play, or when he shifts a player from their usual role to get the best out of them.
Pep strategizes, workshops and stuns everyone, time and time again.
Stones stands a great example from last season, and that had a notable impact.
In short, Pep is a perpetual challenger and a winner at heart.
City have become known for clinical goal scoring, and success. Creating chances
can be as hard as scoring them, what characteristics are needed in the forwards
at City, under Pep Guardiola?
Aguero: Pep has had the team to adopt difference formations, even in the absence of a traditional Number 9.
City has consistently been a goal-scoring team.
Speaking from my own experience, I wasn’t part of the typical Number 9 mould, yet I managed to find the back of the net frequently.
Jesus, for instance, has also taken on wing positions.
Several of City's players have managed to capitalise on opportunities without being restricted to the role of strikers, such as Sterling and Gundogan in recent seasons.
The one notable exception is Haaland, who embodies a true 9. His entry has broken many records in the Premier League.
Julián Álvarez, although not a traditional centre-forward, has racked up his fair share of goals, and I do believe this trend is likely to continue.
City's style of play encourages a scenario where numerous players, playing different positions have opportunities to contribute to the overall goal tally.
As one of the greatest goal scorers in Premier League history, and all-time record scorer at City; could you have seen yourself alongside Erling Haaland, breaking even more records?
Why not give it a thought? I've had the opportunity to share the field with various Number 9 players like Haaland in the past.
Right from my early days at Indepenediente, through Atletico, City, and even the national team, my performances have generally been commendable.
I believe Erling and I could have formed a strong partnership. My role would have involved dropping back slightly or manoeuvring across the frontline, while Haaland would have taken up positions near the goal.
The key would have been mastering our coordinated movements. Such a partnership could have been an enjoyable experience!
You arrived at Barcelona from an enormously successful spell at Manchester City, under Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini and then Pep Guardiola, to a side
at arguably their lowest ebb in two decades, which struggled that season. What
were the major differences between the two behind the scenes, other than the
Aguero: Regrettably, my time at Barca was quite limited.
I'd have loved to play more for them, help the Club in overcoming their challenges.
However, it wasn’t meant to be - that ambition didn't materialize, and I've had to come to terms with that reality.
What I can say is that, within that brief period, I managed to create meaningful connections; both with the Club and its fans.
I received splendid treatment, and it almost feels as if I spent an extended time in their company.
Rather focusing on differences, I'd prefer to emphasize what they have in common: their remarkable greatness.
Barca boasts rich history, while City has seen substantial growth recently to secure its position among Europe's finest.
Simeone has obviously been enormously successful at Atletico Madrid, arriving shortly after you left, and transformed Atleti into the consistent third force in Spain. How is he viewed in Argentina, do Argentines relate to Cholismo and is there an appetite to see him as coach of the Selección at some point down the line?
Aguero: is an exceptional manager. Not many can achieve what he has with Atletico.
It revolves around maintaining a high level of performance over numerous years, reconstructing the team when needed, and ensuring its sustained prominence.
You can tell he loves the club and enjoys his place. I think he'll stay at Atletico for as long as he desires to do so.
From inside the Argentina camp, did anyone comment on the Bisht, traditional
Qatari gown, that was put on Leo Messi before he lifted the World Cup? Can you
imagine something similar in Argentina?
Aguero: Haha, I'm not quite sure…
I believe that was a spur-of-the-moment action, influenced by the World Cup's location. It's a reflection of the local tradition.
In Argentina, we have our own ways and our own folklore. The charm of these traditions is their diversity.