Sergio Aguero: a star is born
The young Argentinean player helps Atletico Madrid win their debut game in the Champions League.
17 September 2008
MADRID -- A new European star was born on Tuesday night in Eindhoven: 20-year-old Argentinean Sergio Aguero.
Rarely has a debutant made such an immediate and dramatic impact in the Champions League.
After just nine minutes of Tuesday's PSV Eindhoven-Atletico Madrid clash, Aguero smartly turned in a centre from Luis Garcia to give Atletico the perfect start after 12 years' absence from the competition.
Things went wrong for Atletico in the 29th minute when striker Diego Forlan limped off with a thigh strain - which will keep him out for a month.
But in the 39th minute, just when PSV were pressing for an equalizer, Aguero took a short pass just inside the penalty area, turned to his left - and made it 2-0 with a powerful drive.
Aguero is mostly right-footed, though you would hardly have noticed on Tuesday.
He came close to completing a third goal in the second half, before coach Javier Aguirre gave him a well-earned rest.
Meanwhile, Portuguese veteran Maniche made it 3-0, killing off any local hopes of a comeback.
Aguero's feat was front page news in most Spanish papers on Wednesday.
"It's hard to recall such a brilliant debut from a young player in the Champions League", said former Atletico and Spain keeper Jose Molina on television channel Antena 3.
"The important thing is the three points, rather than my goals", said Aguero after the game.
"We had a lot of confidence throughout the game, and that is why we won".
Aguero added that the Atletico fans "should be pleased, and should have confidence in the team, because we are not going to let them down. We are going to try to go as far as possible in all the competitions".
When asked how he felt about being the fans' new idol, he replied, "I am really happy at Atletico. The supporters have treated me really well...I am young, and I still have a lot to learn".
Aguero is surely one of Planet Football's brightest prospects, together with compatriot Lionel Messi of Barcelona.
The two young stars linked up in August to guide Argentina to Olympic gold.
Atletico paid Buenos Aires club Independiente no less than EUR 20 million for Aguero in 2006, a world record for a teenager.
It already seems money well spent, because the hugely talented young striker has put the long-suffering club back among the European elite - despite the departure of Fernando Torres for Liverpool in 2007.
[dpa / Duncan Shaw / Expatica]