Finally teammates. Sergio Aguero’s move to Barcelona eventually brings him together with Lionel Messi seven years after the first attempt to bring them together at the same club.
There is no doubt about the strength of their friendship off the field. Aguero has described it as that of an old married couple. The two have shared a room together at tournaments since the 2005 Under-20 World Cup. “He hates being late for anything,” Aguero told America TV in an interview last year.
And in an interview with TyC Sports, he also described how when the two have to be ready for a team meal at nine o’clock for a team meal, Messi gets desperate from Aguero’s laid-back timekeeping.
“He’s a real moan,” he said. ‘Sometimes we trained in the afternoon and arrived at the team hotel at 7.30pm. Leo would wash quickly while I’m still fiddling with my phone in my underpants. That’s when he got impatient and reminded me, “We have to be there by nine!” ‘
Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero will play together at club level for the first time in their careers
They have been buddies since 2005 when they competed with Argentina at the U20 World Cup – here they celebrate winning Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008
The two players, who won Olympic gold and played a World Cup final together, have a bond that should make it work for them in LaLiga, and they don’t have to share a room in Barcelona, so Aguero falls asleep with the TV on. . will not be a problem.
But the question many Barcelona supporters will be asking is: will the duo be as dynamic on the field now as they were before in their careers? They haven’t always clicked on their country, so will it work at the same club?
Barcelona tried to sign Aguero in 2014 and had to change course and go for Luis Suarez instead, when it was made clear to them that the Argentinian would stay with Manchester City.
Agüero falls short at City, but Barça will be desperate for his shine in LaLiga
Despite their bond, questions remain about how well they complement each other on the field
Aguero has described their funny relationship as that of an ‘old married couple’
Missing someone whose arrival would not only bring goals but also make Messi very happy was seen as a setback, but some questions had arisen during that same tournament as to how compatible the two were on the field.
Gonzalo Higuain was seen as a better foil for Messi than Aguero and when Argentinian coach Alejandro Sabella was forced by an injury to play Ezequiel Lavezzi instead of Aguero, the team seemed more balanced.
In the final, Lavezzi had stretched Germany in the first half and when Aguero replaced him, Germany looked more comfortable. It was Pep Guardiola who first saw the secret to getting the best out of Messi by having him flanked by fast attackers that would open up space around him.
When Aguero and Messi won Olympic gold together in 2008, Aguero played center forward in a 4-2-3-1 for a row of three, with Messi starting to the right of Juan Riquelme and Angel Di Maria.
Ronald Koeman hopes Aguero will have an impact similar to Luis Suarez’s
Messi and Aguero’s belongings can be seen side by side in the 2014 World Cup final
But by 2009, Messi was playing a false nine under Guardiola, with Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o first, and David Villa and Pedro on opposite sides of him two years later.
When Suarez moved to Barcelona, it was clear he wouldn’t be playing as effectively wide as Henry, Eto’o, Villa and Pedro. In the end, it was Messi who told Suarez to play through the middle and he would go back to the right where he started his career.
But the Uruguayan still managed to replenish Messi for teasing defenders, and by occupying both center-backs, he opened up space for him.
Aguero is not a player that manages the channels, nor does it act as Messi’s buffer. His focus is on finding gaps in crowded penalty areas, making a second guess where the ball will land and finishing efficiently.
Despite his second-half performance against Germany in the 2014 final didn’t seem to help matters, Argentina would still have given it all for just one of the clear chances that had fallen for him.
Messi and Lavezzi are at the 2014 World Cup over a free kick, with Aguero on the bench
At Barca, Luis Suarez teased defenders and opened up space for his partner in crime Messi
He will bring intelligence and a natural ability to score goals, Barcelona legend Steve Archibald recently told Sportsmail was ‘probably even better than Suarez’. And those who worked closely with him at City also speak of a player with an exceptional football brain and a desire to work hard, which may be tarnished by age and injuries, but not by a lack of will to succeed.
But the older he gets, the more Messi needs the attackers around him to be either a battering ram center striker or a smooth-footed winger.
Aguero has spoken of his first meeting with Messi in 2005. “I didn’t know who he was,” he said. “I knew there was someone who was really good at Barcelona, but I didn’t know it was him.” Messi warmed to that self-effacing, carefree attitude and now he finally has his international teammate in his club’s locker room.
However, it is during games where the success or failure of the move is judged. They were specially through Argentina’s youth teams. This is a test to see if their chemistry has stood up to it on and off the field.
All eyes will be on the partnership, to see if it can lift Barcelona back to the top of LaLiga