Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Sergio Agüero factfile

Manchester City might sign Sergio Agüero soon. They might not. But they probably will. What better reason, then, to compile a list of little-known facts about the player they call Kun.

* Agüero was raised by wolves in the Amazonian forest. He qualifies for Argentinian citizenship through his biological father Diego Maradona. It is said that Maradona conceived Agüero after a particularly chaotic party at a Neapolitan zoo. When Diego abandoned Agüero's mother, she left for South America and started a family. They remain the only wolves in the Amazon.

* Agüero had a starring role in a Japanese anime when he was six years-old . He played the character Kum Kum and earned plaudits for his harrowing portrayal of a child forced to fend for himself in the dog-eat-dog world of hunting. (There is a widely-held belief that Agüero's nickname Kun originates from this anime. This is false. Agüero actually obtained the name due to his interest in the performance of China Shenghuo Pharmaceutical Holdings (KUN) on the stock market.)

* Agüero was first scouted by Independiente when he was playing for an Amazon XI against a team made up of players who live on the border of the river Nile. Agüero scored a hattrick in the game after discovering that running in zigzags confused the Nile XI's defenders. Independiente promptly signed Agüero, bringing a premature end to a promising career in anime.

* Agüero quickly made his professional debut for Independiente at the age of nine. Despite having scored a goal in that match, he did not play the next game as the 10pm kickoff was way past his bedtime. He continued to play in Independiente's afternoon matches, however, and finished the season as the Primera División's top scorer. His club form did not go unnoticed by Argentinia manager Terry Butcher and he was called up to the national squad at just ten years of age.

* It was with Argentina that Agüero first made an impression on the world stage. Having reached the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup with Argentina, he was selected to play against England in his first start for Argentina. After a goalless first half, Agüero opened the scoring with one of the most infamous goals of all time. Leaping up into the air to contest a high ball with England goalkeeper Scott Carson, Agüero fisted the ball into the English net. He redeemed himself later in the game by scoring perhaps the greatest goal in World Cup history. Argentina ultimately went on to win the 2006 World Cup and Agüero quickly became a national hero, earning sponsorship deals with both Nike and Adidas.

* Real Madrid signed Agüero immediately after the World Cup but decided that, at eleven years-old, he was too young to go straight into the first team. Instead he was placed in Real Madrid's reserve team, Atlético Madrid. Despite enjoying a very successful first season there, Real Madrid decided against promoting him to the first team because they had recently purchased Steve Sidwell for £30 million.

* After five seasons with Atlético, Agüero now looks set to leave for Manchester City. His international teammate Carlos Tévez is thought to have persuaded Agüero that City was the best option for him after his incessant praise for the city of Manchester. If the deal is completed, Agüero will become the first Argentine player not named Pablo Zabaleta or Carlos Tévez to play for the club. Still only four years-old, there are high hopes that Agüero will enjoy a bright future in the Premier League, especially if he can benefit from the maturity of Tévez and Mario Balotelli while at the club.

If you'd like to hurl abuse in my direction ( 'Agüero wasn't raised by wolves, graaaaaaah!!1!'), you can find me on Twitter @BallBetweenTwo.

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