Sergio Aguero: City and Barca exits Champions League and Transfer Window Rumours

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It’s getting towards the business end of the season so we sat down with our Global Football Ambassador Sergio Agüero to discuss all the latest developments, including Manchester City and Barcelona’s Champions League exits and the futures of some key players across Europe going into the summer transfer window.

Manchester City

What did you make of the defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League Quarter Finals?

Both games were very tight, I'll say this much.

I think these are the finest teams in Europe, and they played a Quarter Final with the type of great football you expect from the Final itself.

The away leg at the Bernabeu saw both teams recovering from very tricky spots very well.

A very even tie, and at the home leg at Etihad, City bounced back from an early setback and went on to have a dominant position for the remainder of the game.

But, as we all know, Real put up a solid defence and City weren't able to capitalize on those opportunities.

I knew that getting to penalties wasn't ideal, but Madrid played around that, got to that spot, and took the victory.

I'm very proud for what City achieved, for staying true to their style, and for never giving up.

Was Bernardo Silva’s penalty in the shootout poor, or was Andriy Lunin simply too clever?

I think evaluating Bernardo's performance for a missed penalty is a non-starter.

As we say in the business – you can only miss if you step up to take the shot. All the greats have missed penalties. So my advice is not to ponder on this for too long.

Bernardo is a massive player for City and a deciding factor for many matches.

The proof is in the pudding, his goal in Madrid on the away leg was key, and the goal against Chelsea paved the way for the FA Cup Final.

Silva has been linked with Barcelona in the summer, do City need to do all they can to keep him?

I hope he stays at City. He's talented across the board and able to play many different roles.

Bernardo knows how the team functions.

This all being said, I think he deserves to choose his own future, and I hope Bernardo sees it in City.

City failed to get Jude Bellingham in the summer, did the game at the Etihad highlight how big a missed opportunity that was?

Jude had a solid match, particularly in controlling the ball – we saw how important that was for Real's goal.

A player of that stature can turn the tides of a game at any time.

But City has players like that, we saw it in this bracket. Foden, Gvardiol, Kevin – all broke out to score too.

Pep Guardiola will now surely turn to the Premier League title race, do you think they are still favourites?

I've said it before, City are always candidates.

Winning many Premier Leagues in a row should prove that.

But the team also has clinical consistency in the final few matches of the season, when titles are decided.

Those last games turn the tables for all contenders – and the trophy goes to the team with the most consistency. Hopefully, that's City once more.

Kevin De Bruyne has looked off the pace, do you think his time at City could be coming to an end?

I don't think so.

We had an off start to the season because of his injury, leaving him on the sidelines for quite some time.

When he came back, he showed that his game didn't suffer from it.

Kevin is vital for the team and I think fans will be able to enjoy his skills for much longer.

Erling Haaland has struggled in the Champions League knockout games, does he need to raise his game?

It's easy to forget he's a young player, barely 23 years old.

He's still evolving.

His goal tally in Europe is very high, and I think it'll keep on growing.

These matches will help him grow and get the experience he needs.

It's a mistake to doubt the skills of a grade-A striker.

Roy Keane recently labelled the Norway striker a ‘League Two player’. Do you think this was over the top?

What's there to say?

I don't think it's an assessment worthy of discussion.

Andy Townsend claimed Celtic are a bigger club than Manchester City, do you agree with this opinion?

Ditto as the above.

Only reason one would keep fanning those discussions is to create needless controversies. You won't find that from me.


A disappointing exit from the Champions League, what did you make of the refereeing performance in the game with PSG?

Araujo's red card, the moment that really decided the match, was a very tight call.

The ref chose to follow the rulebook strictly, and it ended as we all know.

I don't like to talk too much about refereeing – nothing constructive will come of that.

The game played out as it did, and Barca is sadly out of the running.

Your former teammate Ilkay Gundogan was scathing in his assessment of some of the Barca players, was this fair?

I get were Ilkay is coming from.

These players are very fast and sometimes you need to make a decision in a literal split second.

A defender will try to break up the play and the forward will try to come out on top.

I don't think Gundogan was specifically talking about Araujo.

What's certain, though, is that this is the type of situation you should learn from – so it never happens again.

Are you concerned for the club’s financial state after yet another Champions League exit?

We'll see. I'm not that certain of what's the outlook.

With Barca almost out of the LaLiga title race and Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals again will Barca fans see this season as a huge disappointment?

A club that big needs to win something every season.

In due time, we'll be able to make a full assessment, but results can't be the only thing you see.

Barca has been able to fledge out young players like Yamal and Cubarsi, and there's also Pedri, who has been able to recover from his injury well, and Gavi, who's also on the mend.

This should give you high hopes for the future of the team.

Xavi is of course leaving; do you think the board have to do everything they can to convince him to stay?

Once a manager makes it public, and then reaffirms it, that's very hard to revere.

Xavi must be feeling like he's closed this cycle, and he's said as much too.

Roberto De Zerbi of Brighton has been linked with the role, what would you make of that appointment?

As Brighton fans could attest to, De Zerbi is a great manager. But he's not the only one tied with a move, so for now it's all hearsay.

Argentina & ROW

Alexis Mac Allister has been incredible for Liverpool this season, are you surprised at how quickly he has settled?

Not at all. Alexis is versatile to a fault.

I'm sure his stint at Brighton has helped him get accustomed to the Premier League, so he was able to hit the ground running at Liverpool.

There's a lot of merit for him to have arrived and been able to deliver so quickly. I'm very happy for him.

His teammate Darwin Nunez remains erratic in front of goal, what advice would you offer him?

I'm sure mine is probably the same advice his team-mates or his manager must be giving him... "keep on trying."

That's key, and more so in a goal scorer like him. Darwin's got the knack – he is constantly on the prowl. You’ve got to respect that.

The other tip I'd give him is "don't panic." That's what I thought to myself when I spent many games without scoring.

I'd tell myself that goals will be soon to come... and surely enough, they did.

Manchester United have been linked with Boca Juniors starlet Aaron Anselmino. What can you tell us about him?

I haven't seen him play so I couldn't speak about it. I have read that he's very talented.

Carlos Tevez has got Independiente to 6th in the Primera Division. Do you think he has the skills to perhaps one day manage in the Premier League?

Carlos is just beginning his career as a manager. I've seen him work, I know what he can do, and he was able to form a circle of very capable advisors.

He's paving his own way, and if he sets his mind to it, I'm sure he'll be able to go international this way.

Jason Kelce claims watching Lionel Messi at Inter Miami is ‘like watching Michael Jordan on the golf course’ - suggesting the lack of quality is affecting Leo; do you agree with this?

Let's see... I think what really matters is what Leo makes happen on the field. He still garners the same level of awe from the audiences.

Every game he plays, tickets sell out.

Everyone wants to see him play, and Leo doesn't disappoint.

That's what matters. Leo is one of a kind, and people know that.