Aguero: It is disrespectful to compare me to Maradona - exclusive interview
Published 23:01 20/08/11 By Paul Smith
Sergio Aguero claims it’s embarrassing when people compare him with the Argentinian legend called Diego Maradona.
Manchester City’s new £38million striker knows Maradona well.
He’s married to the South American hero’s daughter Giannina and clearly has no wish to invoke the fury of his father-in-law.
Yet the comparisons do continue – understandably.
When Aguero, aged just 15 years and 35 days, became the youngest player to appear in the Argentinian First Division with Independiente, who did he oust from the record books?
Aguero took the Premier League by storm on his debut last Monday night, coming on as a second-half substitute to score twice and set up another goal in the 4-0 win over Swansea.
So how does he cope with being mentioned in the same breath as one of the world’s greatest ever players?
Aguero said: “I find it embarrassing when people compare me to Maradona. How can they? It’s disrespectful. There is only one Maradona.
“People who say this just have no idea, they don’t know what they are talking about. And you won’t find me ever fuelling comparisons with him.
“Diego was a complete one-off, an all-time great who can never be matched and will never have an equal on the football pitch.
“I know I can play, but you will never find me saying that I’m the new Maradona.
“He was a genius with a ball at his feet, a leader and a total inspiration to his team-mates.
“No one, I repeat no one, could have transformed teams like he did all those years ago. Like so many, I have nothing but respect for what he achieved.”
Maradona inspires mixed reviews in England, although every football fan can appreciate his genius.
But the bitter taste of cheating from his “Hand of God” goal against England in the 1986 World Cup finals will never be forgotten. For Aguero, his relationship with Maradona is extremely close.
The player, born and bred in Quilmes, a tough suburb of Buenos Aires, even sought the great man’s advice when he decided to join City.
In fact, Aguero ensured his wife Giannina and his father-in-law gave their blessing to a move that has seen his earnings rocket past the £200,000-a-week mark when he left Atletico Madrid where he was revered and happy.
But he swiftly draws a line under talk that he is more than capable of following in Maradona’s footsteps.
“It’s fair to say we have a similar approach to the game,” said Aguero.
“We always look to invent, take risks and make things happen in the attacking third of the field.
“Both of us love to dribble, quicken the play and react fast out on the pitch.
“There are other things too, as each of us plays with raw emotion, each of us is driven by a burning desire to win.
“Then again, all Argentine professionals are highly motivated and competitive.
“Ultimately, though, Maradona was a genius, the world’s greatest ever player and a legend, while I’m just an apprentice.”
Maradona worked as Aguero’s boss when he coached the Argentina national side.And when it comes to advice on football matters, Aguero invariably goes knocking on his father-in-law’s door .
Turning to his arrival in the Premier League, Aguero added: “He gave me his blessing and told me to play football and enjoy myself.
“Whenever I’ve asked him for advice, he’s been there and, you know, he’s always straightforward and honest in his analysis. Diego likes to keep things simple and straightforward.
“We both come from humble backgrounds and he has always said the important thing is to remember where we have come from.”