Sergio Aguero has retired at the age of 33 due to a heart problem, the Barcelona forward has announced in a statement.
Aguero delivered the news at a press conference featuring club president Joan Laporta and the club’s first-team players.
“This press conference is to communicate that I’ve decided to stop playing soccer,” a tearful Aguero told a gathering at the Camp Nou.
“It is a very difficult moment. The decision I have made I have taken for my health.
None more so famous than this one… pic.twitter.com/gfDdubK4ph
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 15, 2021
“That is the main reason because of the problem that I had a month and a half ago.
“I was in good hands of the medical staff who have done their best and have told me the best thing would be to stop playing.
“So I made that decision about a week ago and I want to tell everyone I did everything possible to have hope, but there wasn’t very much.”
Aguero, who starred for Atletico Madrid before becoming a Manchester City great, suffered chest pain in the draw with Deportivo Alaves on October 30, which the club confirmed was down to a heart arrhythmia.
💕 Our thoughts are with Sergio Aguero as he announces his retirement ⚽️
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) December 15, 2021
Sergi Barjuan, interim coach at the time, said Aguero told him he was feeling “a little dizzy”.
Further tests resulted in Aguero being ruled out for three months to undergo a “diagnostic and therapeutic process”.
However, after consultations with specialists, the Argentina international has been told it is too much of a risk to continue playing.
Aguero joined Barca on a free transfer from City in July, but a calf injury meant he did not make his debut until October.
He made five appearances in all competitions for Barca, playing just 166 minutes, with his sole goal coming in the form of a late consolation in a 2-1 Clasico defeat to Real Madrid.
“I am very proud of the career I have had, very happy,” said Aguero.
The press conference, which was attended by representatives of all Aguero’s previous clubs, including former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, who managed him at City, ended with Aguero receiving a standing ovation.
"I always dreamt about playing football, since I was five years old."
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 15, 2021
Aguero’s glittering 18-year-career began at Independiente, where he became Argentina’s youngest top-flight debutant. After three years he moved to Atletico Madrid in 2006 before signing for City in 2011.
His first season at the Etihad Stadium ended in a career highlight when his injury-time winner against QPR snatched top spot from rivals Manchester United and gave City a first title since 1968.
A decade at the club saw him win five Premier League titles, six League Cups and an FA Cup, scoring 260 goals in 390 appearances.
His final City appearance ended in the heartbreak of a Champions League final defeat by Chelsea, with another career low point being the 2014 World Cup final loss to Germany.
He helped Argentina win the Copa America earlier this year, while in five matches for Barcelona Aguero scored once, in a 2-1 defeat by Real Madrid.