Sergio Aguero has announced his retirement from football at the age of 33 due to a heart condition.
The Manchester City record goalscorer, who moved to Barcelona on a free transfer in the summer, had to be substituted during his team’s 1-1 draw with Alaves in October after receiving medical assistance on the pitch to treat chest pains and dizziness.
The Argentina striker was taken to hospital for cardiac tests, after which he was ruled out for three months.
However, Aguero did not make his return to the field before announcing on Wednesday at the Nou Camp that his playing career has ended.
An emotional Aguero said: “This conference is to communicate that I have decided to stop playing football.
“It is a very difficult moment. The decision I have made I have taken for my health, that is the main reason, because of the problem that I had a month-and-a-half ago.
“I was in good hands of the medical staff who have done their best and have told me the best thing would be to stop playing.
“So I made that decision about a week ago and I want to tell everyone I did everything possible to have hope, but there wasn’t very much.”
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Posting on Twitter, Aguero added: “Retiring under these circumstances is difficult, but life comes first – I’ve known that from the start.”
City manager Pep Guardiola was one of several representatives from Aguero’s former clubs to attend Wednesday’s press conference, while the club also paid tribute to their former striker on social media.
“Everyone at Manchester City would like to take this opportunity to thank @aguerosergiokun for his incredible contribution to our success over the last decade and wish him well in his retirement,” City posted on Twitter.
After his first game in charge of the club against Espanyol in November, Barcelona boss Xavi said the forward’s situation was uncertain, but that the club would “follow the evolution of what he had” and hoped he would be able to “keep playing football”.