Manchester born (Rusholme to be exact) and lifelong Blues supporter, Roy Harper sent Vital Manchester City the following article.
I’ve been an Atletico Madrid fan for 3 years now. I’ve objected to becoming either a Real Madrid or Barça fan on various grounds, but mainly because I’ve loved the way Diego Forlan has come into his own in Spain and plays some wonderful football. I usually get in late and very often there’s an Atletico game on, usually a repeat of what’s happened earlier in the night.
For the last few years I’ve watched the Forlan-Aguero partnership develop. Kun Aguero is quick and direct, and often lethal, while Forlan has been the one with the guile. If Forlan was 23 years old, he would cost £50 million in today’s market. Unfortunately, as we know, he’s 32. For a decade he has been the power behind the Uruguay team, won the Golden Ball ‘Player Of The Tournament’ at the last world Cup, deservedly; (at which there was literally no one in his league), and is a credit to world football.
His young partner at Atletico for the last 2/3 years has been Sergio (Kun) Aguero. They’re a devastating partnership. They’re about equals as goal scorers. Forlan has 96 goals in 4 seasons with Atletico, and Aguero 68 in 3 seasons. Aguero appears to be more selfish than Forlan in any given game, having just 26 assists in 3 seasons
Whereas Forlan has twice that. Aguero is much more selfish with the ball. He always wants to score, and he gets himself in the best positions to score.
I’ve always thought of him as an Argentinean boy from the street. I’ve never seen him interviewed in the 3 years I’ve been watching him. Spanish TV coverage is mainly focused on long distance shots. Long shots with half the pitch shown, so rarely do you get to see real close-ups of the players, and especially outside of the tension and stress of their game attitude.
It was therefore a revelation to see him interviewed in close-up on British TV. Gone was the clenched favella-dweller image I regularly see of the stocky gladiator delivering the deadly coup de gras without mercy to some desperate defence. In front of my eyes and the glare of the international media was a young man who handled himself with accomplished aplomb. He said all the right things with a confidence beyond his years. He’s 23. He was speaking like a 30 year old, only with a smile that betrayed the supreme confidence he has in his own ability. There were no nerves; no avoidance of questions, no stuttering answers, and always half a knowing smile.
As soon as I saw it, a very different person than the one I’d imagined emerged. No wonder Carlitos, or any of his published or private remarks have made no impression on him. Kun is every bit his own man, and would probably be able to hand Carlitos some possibly unpalatable life advice.
Almost certainly Carlitos knows this. Obviously Kun has a lot of class. He’s not going to suffer fools and he’s going to slip easily into team philosophy. He’ll be one of the manager’s favourite players. Someone he can rely on to put in 100% per game. It seems he’s building a team of those. Bellamy was never going to be to the taste of a manager who didn’t yet have command of the language. Craig’s a good player, but he’s combative, with something of a local accent. A big pill for Mancini to swallow as he tried to come to terms with his new environment.
So, what we have is a man who is settled at 23! His wife is Diego Maradonna’s daughter and they have a child. They’re already Argentinean royalty, and Kun Aguero is carrying that with ease. They have come to enjoy Manchester, (and probably Cheshire), and they’ve come to learn English, English football and the culture, become multi-lingual and effectively multi-cultural; and bring up their children in a good educational environment. Very different to their beleaguered countryman, whose only pleasure seems to be on the field and fighting. The possible lone outlet for his probably frightening childhood.
I hate to even think it, but come January, or maybe sooner, we might be saying goodbye to a brilliantly professional hit-man, unfortunately completely controlled by modern Mafiosi-styled ‘ownership’: and saying hello to a future City, Argentina and world legend.