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Agüero retirement deepens gloom hanging over Barcelona


He’s 33, he’s been a pro for 18 years, he’s enjoyed success, and when he looks back he can certainly be satisfied. But it hurts to see his pain. Sergio Agüero’s farewell was a moving one. A heart problem has ended his stay in paradise earlier than he’d bargained on. The first day of the rest of his life is one filled with sadness, because the healthy savings he’s surely built up will be no substitute for the fans’ acclaim. And it’s not like he’ll find another day job like the one he’s just had to give up, either: a career spent with ball at feet, out in the fresh air, together with the lads; a profession that brings stardom and a whopping great pay packet. All of a sudden, Agüero finds himself on the outside. For him, it’s the worst of misfortunes.

It goes without saying that, given Agüero’s age and bank balance, people would be queuing up to swap places with him. But that doesn’t mean he won’t feel bereft for a while. His enforced retirement largely sums up a dark few months for Barcelona, in which everything that can go wrong has gone wrong. The Argentine was brought in to give his countryman and pal Lionel Messi one more reason to stay, but suddenly Messi’s contract offer was withdrawn, Agüero was left high and dry, and when the striker finally got onto the pitch after a period out injured, this heart issue reared its ugly head. Another setback for Barça, who are even starting to miss Martin Braithwaite. That’s how bad things have got at the Camp Nou.

Sergio Agüero is consoled by Barcelona president Joan Laporta as he announces his retirement from playing on Wednesday.
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Sergio Agüero is consoled by Barcelona president Joan Laporta as he announces his retirement from playing on Wednesday.RODOLFO MOLINADIARIO AS

Agüero retires as Barcelona return from chasing Saudi coin

Agüero’s farewell came as the squad returned from a wholly dishonourable trip to Saudi Arabia to pick up three million euros. Recently, the club announced its commitment to a series of ethical principles that any person or organisation that’s halfway reasonable would support, without the need to shout it from the rooftops. But to show that Barça really are more than a club, president Joan Laporta included them in the statutes; pure posturing. Having scarcely given the ink time to dry, Laporta has betrayed that text with a trip to Riyadh that was shoehorned into the diary and only served for Barça to lose another game and cause annoyance by leaving out their big names, other than Dani Alves. Barça have sacrificed a chunk of their prestige in exchange for a tiny fraction of their annual budget.