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Kun Agüero: “In the New Year we’re going to fight to be amongst the best”

“We need to have confidence in our daily work”

Since he arrived in Spain, he’s become one of the figures to follow in the world of football. His progress at Atlético de Madrid has been more than evident and now he enjoys a stability envied by many. Sergio ‘Kun’ Agüero has shown that he was born to play football in the red-and-white jersey. Since his official debut with the Atlético shirt on 27 August 2006 against Racing de Santander, the Argentine has evolved in all facets of play. The striker has truly matured and his identification with Atlético, with Madrid, and with Spain is such that he even has double citizenship (Argentinean and Spanish). Kun Agüero wanted to assess the first part of the season, along with some personal aspects, in statements made to the official Club Atlético de Madrid web page.

“Our goal is to qualify for Champions League. I think that we’re on the right path; we’re working hard every day to get close to the objective that we set for ourselves at the beginning of the season. We’re near where we want to be and we hope to finish the season amongst the top four,” commented the ‘rojiblanco’ footballer.

The Atlético ‘10’ highlighted that “we all know how the Spanish league is. If you lose two consecutive matches you drop quite a ways in the table; it’s a very hard-fought competition. The opposite also occurs; if you win two games then you get back into the fight. That’s what happened to us. The wins over Deportivo and Málaga have returned us to the battle for the top spots. We have to continue along that line and not lose points at home. It’s also very important to scratch out points as visitors because if you don’t you get left behind.”

Kun acknowledged that the team has lacked consistency in certain matches, but he’s convinced that “we’re going to start off the New Year strong. We know that there are no easy competitions, but we have to fight to be up there, amongst the best. We know that the Atlético supporters are different, that they have confidence in us and that they’ll be supporting us from the first fixture of 2011.

“All teams have things to improve on and we do too, but that’s normal. The squad is in good shape and we know what we have to do and how we have to do it, and that’s the most important thing. Little-by-little the team has been overcoming obstacles and will do it again if need be. We have to think positively and trust our work and the work of the coaching staff,”
he stated.

After the victory over Pochettino’s Espanyol in the Copa del Rey first leg match, Sergio Agüero assured that “we have to follow the path we started upon last year. The return leg match against Espanyol is going to be tough; they’re showing that they’re a solid team that is looking to do big things. Furthermore, they’re playing at home and are very strong there. In any case, we got a positive result at the Vicente Calderón and we’re going to travel to Barcelona to win.

“If we pass through to the next round we’ll face Real Madrid. Derbies are always special matches, but first we have to focus on our qualifying tie and think only about Espanyol. If we find ourselves up against Real Madrid in the quarterfinals, we’ll have to map out our game plan with our heads and try to study the details closely. They’re a great team, but Atlético de Madrid is also a great team and we’ve demonstrated that,”
he commented.

Agüero is one of the reference points both in and out of the dressing room. The Spanish-Argentine evaluated the possible departures and arrivals during the winter signing period. “When a player leaves the team always feels it, but the Club works hard all year so that other players join the club and strengthen different positions. Surely any new players who come will do so to help the group. We have a good squad and the club is doing a good job, he emphasized.

On a personal level, Kun Agüero has been fundamental to the squad coached by Quique Sánchez Flores and not just because of his goals, but also because of his assists and the attitude that he displays on the pitch during certain times of a game. His fighting spirit and leadership hasn’t gone unnoticed by the fans, which recognize him and applaud his each and every play. “I started off La Liga at a good level and then I had that injury problem. The fact is that I though I was going to have a harder time adapting to the pace of the matches, but I only felt that in the encounter against Rosenborg. I feel fine, physically speaking, and am happy here. Atlético is my home and, besides, I’m Spanish (laughs). I’m taking very good care of myself physically to be able to respond to the level at which I want to be. I try to give one hundred percent for my team on the pitch; that’s something that we are all always obligated to do. It forms part of our job,” he stated.

Agüero told us how he spent his Christmas holidays and expressed his wishes for 2011. “I spent my Christmas vacation with Maxi (Rodríguez). I met him here at Atlético de Madrid and we became very good friends. He’s one of the best friends that I have in the world of football. I prefer to take advantage of the days off that we get and not be travelling constantly, although I miss Argentina. From Liverpool, Maxi asked my to send his regards to all the Atlético players and supporters, and as I have the chance to do so, I’ll do it here,” he said.

For the New Year, Kun is hoping to “work hard for the team,” and added that “if I score lots of goals, that would be better, but I believe that the basic thing in football is the group. We’ve shown that in the two finals that we won by playing as a team.”

To finish, Sergio gave a nod to those who form up the squad’s fans, highlighting that our supporters are going to be behind us till the end; I’ll never doubt that. They were once again exemplary on the day that we played against Deportivo de la Coruña. We were coming off poor results, but they cheered on the squad from the opening minute of the match. Hearing the people like that is really good for us; we feel supported and that helps us a lot.”