Sergio Aguero might not leave Qatar with a medal, but the Argentine squad made it clear he is part of their championship team.
The 34-year-old appeared in three World Cups for Argentina before retiring last December after being diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmias. He was on the field Sunday in an Argentine kit celebrating with the team after they beat France 3-3 (4-2) in penalty kicks.
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After the award ceremony, he hoisted former teammate Lionel Messi on his shoulders as the Argentine fans chanted their captain’s name.
Aguero has quietly been involved with the team over the past month, even joining in a few training sessions and awarding Messi the MOTM trophy after the team’s semifinal win over Croatia.
He also reportedly reunited with Messi last night before the finals. Up until this point, Messi had been staying alone at Argentina’s base camp, but he made an exception for his longtime roommate.
Aguero rose to fame with Atletico Madrid before joining Manchester City in 2011. Over the course of the next decade, he played a pivotal role in cementing City as a perennial contender, winning five Premier League titles. He left Manchester as the second-most capped player and the highest-scorer in club history.
Despite having his career cut short at 33, Aguero still managed to make a splash in the Argentine record books. He is the seventh-most capped player with 101 appearances and has 42 goals for La Albiceleste, behind only Messi and Gabriel Batistuta.