Guardiola: ‘We cannot replace him, he’s a special person’
Agüero claims record in final league game for Manchester City
Pep Guardiola broke down in tears when paying tribute to the departing Sergio Agüero after the striker’s 389th and final domestic Manchester City appearance at the Etihad Stadium.
Agüero scored twice in a breathtaking substitute appearance in City’s 5-0 win over Everton and an emotional Guardiola was left wiping his eyes during an interview in which he also used the f-word, forcing Sky Sports into an apology.
“We love him so much,” City’s manager said of Agüero. “He’s a special person. He’s so nice. He helped me a lot … We cannot replace him, we cannot. There are many players in this club – Joe Hart, David Silva [are others] – who helped us to be this club. We have his legacy. He showed his quality in 30 minutes.”
Agüero’s goals extended his record for City to 260, and he finished on 184 in the Premier League to pull ahead of Wayne Rooney at Manchester United for the most in the competition for one club. He has agreed to join Barcelona until 2023. “It’s my last [home] game but I’m so happy,” Agüero said.
Guardiola acknowledged his decision last November to sign a contract to 2023 may have had a positive impact on the team. “Maybe we showed the next season we are the same people, we are working together,” he said. “And maybe they realised: ‘OK, with this fucking manager we stay next year,’ and that is why we keep running, keep fighting, keep trying to play good games.”
The next challenge for City is Saturday’s Champions League final against Chelsea. Guardiola described the occasion as a “dream come true” for the club and said he would consider using Agüero. “He has something special, Sergio, and of course he is ready if we need him to help us win the Champions League.”
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