Sergio Aguero needed Lionel Messi to tell him why he was consistently overlooked for the Ballon d’Or award.
Despite scoring a record 260 goals for Manchester City, Argentine striker Agüero has never come close to winning the trophy, which Messi has taken six times.
Constantly being overlooked, Aguero began to worry, but when Messi explained what he was missing it all made sense.
Now at Barcelona, Aguero looks back on his career at City and appreciates why his performances haven’t made him a major contender for an award Messi has won more than anyone.
“I’ve often thought about what’s missing,” Agüero told the Spanish newspaper El Pais. “And one day I asked Leo. He told me I had to win the Champions League to win the Ballon d’Or. And he’s right.
“The issue of trophies with the national teams is also important. To take [Fabio] Cannavaro’s case, for example, when he won the 2006 World Cup.
Cannavaro won the Ballon d’Or that year, Italy’s team-mate Gianluigi Buffon took second place.
“I’ve played great seasons, scored a lot of goals and won a lot of titles,” said Agüero, “but I wasn’t in the Champions League final. And last year when we reached the finals, I had a knee problem, COVID and various injuries.
In 10 years at City, Aguero has scored at least 20 Premier League goals six times in one season, and in only one season (2012-13) has his competitive minutes-per-goal record climbed over a goal every 140 minutes.
This is a record that attracted Barcelona as Messi scored between one every 57 minutes (2012-13) and one every 143.1 minutes (2006-07) in LaLiga over the same period.
Aguero has recovered from a calf injury and played against UE Cornella in a training match for Barcelona on Wednesday which means a competitive debut could be around the corner.
It remains to be seen whether Aguero will be fit enough to play a role in Sunday’s La Liga game against Valencia as Barca try to get their season on track.
In the Champions League follows a home game against Dynamo Kiev; Then comes the first Clasico of the season, with Real Madrid visiting Camp Nou on October 24th.
First goal for Kun pic.twitter.com/GsjztZWViN
– FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 13, 2021
Long-time Argentine team-mate Messi was in Barcelona when Agüero arrived but has since left for Paris Saint-Germain.
Agüero recalled his visit to Messi when it emerged that he would be forced to leave Barcelona.
“That was a shocking moment. He was doing very badly. When I found out, I couldn’t believe it. I visited him in his house that Saturday, ”said Agüero.
Aguero said he was trying to cheer up Barcelona’s all-time top scorer.
Expectations will now weigh on Agüero’s shoulders and although he lost Messi, moving to Barcelona after his City contract expired was the right choice.
“Let’s be honest. Which player doesn’t want to be at Barca?” Aguero continued.
“The majority of footballers would love to wear this shirt, no matter how good or bad Barca are. I came with the expectation to play with Leo and put together a good team, which is what the club was trying to do. When they called me, I thought, ‘I don’t care what they pay me. I feel good and will help the team as best I can. ‘“