UEFA Champions League 2016/17: Pep Guardiola believes Sergio Aguero is as good as Lionel Messi
After having failed to start Sergio Aguero for Manchester City's 4-0 loss against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League, manager Pep Guardiola has now heaped praises on the striker, even comparing him to Barcelona forward, Lionel Messi.
Guardiola, who had preferred to play Kevin de Bruyne as a False 9 in the Champions League fixture, is now swooning over his prized Argentine striker, who scored two goals in City's recent 4-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.
“I said to him: ‘Thank you’. We need him. Without him we cannot achieve our target, it is impossible,” Guardiola stated.
This rate of scoring of the Argentine has invited lavish praises from his manager who compared him to Guardiola's former club player, Messi, who is arguably the world's most prolific football player.
“In the box, he is at that level. To convince him, he has to believe how good he is and how we need him. He has to try. It is not about how many he scores because we are happy with the scoring. I am talking about he has to feel how important he is for us. When he is happy the team is happy. When he is good everything can happen in our team,” Guardiola said.
It seems that after going through the worst run in his career, going six games without a win, Guardiola has come to terms with the fact that Aguero's form is the key to Man City's success. The 28-year-old striker had failed to score a single goal during City's winless run.
Following last week's midweek defeat in the English Football League (EFL) Cup against city rivals, Manchester United, Aguero's first-half brace in the Premier League game against West Brom helped City get back to winning ways. Aguero also provided a goal for Ilkay Gundogan, who scored a late brace himself.
Aguero has scored 109 goals in 158 appearances for Man City since joining from Atletico Madrid in 2011. This season, the Argentine has 7 goals in just 8 Premier League appearances.
Guardiola wants Aguero to take up more of a leading role in the side after the striker ran over 10km during the weekend's game. Aguero's scoring rate of a goal every 94 minutes in the league is one that is not challenged in the league with Everton’s Romelu Lukaku following the Argentine in the charts, with a goal scored every 107 minutes.
With Manchester City set to welcome Barcelona to Etihad on Tuesday night, Guardiola will want to be on the winning side this time around. With Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba missing for the Catalans, it could just be the right stage for Aguero to shine.
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