Aguero’s life story is short – he’s only 26 at the time of writing this review – but he’s packed a lot into that short lifetime – experienced poverty and wealth, witnessed life on two continents, and travelled the world albeit in the protected manner of the professional footballer. Not only that, he is a footballer with a strong moral core and a deep commitment to family values.
Of course we see things from Aguero’s own point of view, so it’s a sanitised version, and he glosses over aspects that might be more controversial, such as the breakdown of his marriage to Diego Maradona’s daughter, and his subsequent relationship to that family. This would have interested me. Maradona and his “hand of God” goal haunted English football fans in the 80s, and was a controversial example of the differences between English and South American attitudes to sportsmanship that have recently been epitomised by the mandibles of Luis Suarez.
Despite these omissions this was an interesting book and a worthwhile read. It begins with the famous Premier League winning goal in 2011-12, which Aguero scored against QPR in the 93rd minute of the last match of the season:
Accounts of significant or impressive career moments recur throughout, adding interest and colour to the more mundane descriptions of Aguero’s early life in Argentina.
Aguero begins the account with the history of his parents’ meeting, of their lives before his birth, and the time leading up to the birth itself. Actually this was all quite an interesting insight into a different culture. The accounts of his childhood soccer experiences suggest why Argentina produces so many successful players. The organisation of their youth teams seems to be much simpler than in England, with a clear structure, and there was a clear pathway for him to follow.
Later there are details of his football career, obviously: Independiente, Atletico Madrid, the Argentine national side, rooming with Lionel Messi.
Of course this book had its limitations. It’s the job of this kind of sports biography to portray an image that will be approved of by sponsors and the book does that. Aguero has at times an overblown view of his own value and importance, but that’s not surprising – he has 9 million Facebook followers, 8 million on Twitter, and a big presence on Instagram. These come from his professional impact in 3 different major footballing countries. Despite all this fame at such a young age, and despite the temptations that come with the kind of wealth he has acquired, Sergio Aguero has managed to keep his feet mostly on the ground, to stay loyal to the family values he grew up with, and to produce sublime moments of athleticism and skill – see below. Long may he do so.