English Premiership

Aguero backed for Ballon d'Or

2014-10-19 10:38
Sergio Aguero (AFP)

Manchester - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes Sergio Aguero must be a candidate for the FIFA Ballon d'Or world player of the year award if he can stay fit.

WRAP: English Premiership

The Argentina striker, 26, scored all four goals, converting two of his three penalties, as Premier League champions City beat Tottenham 4-1 at Eastlands on Saturday to remain five points behind leaders Chelsea.

Aguero's performance was truly fit for a king, with Juan Carlos, the former monarch of Spain, among the crowd after being invited by Blues chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak.

It also saw him become City's all-time top-scorer in the Premier League with 61 goals in 95 appearances since his 38 million ($61 million, 48 million euros) move from Atletico Madrid in 2011.

The forward was hampered by a series of injuries last season that contributed to him only starting 20 of City's 38 league games.

He still managed 17 league goals but is already almost halfway to that figure after taking his total for the current campaign to nine with his impressive performance against Spurs.

Pellegrini thinks that if Aguero can remain at peak condition he has a good chance of being named as the best footballer in the world.

"I'm not talking because he scored four goals (against Tottenham)," Pellegrini explained.

"I don't expect him to score four in every game. I've known him for a lot of years, I know his career in Argentina, Spain and here in England and that's why I said he's one of the most important strikers in the world," the Chilean added.

"When he is 100 percent fit he will demonstrate everything. He is one of the top three or four strikers in the world.

"It wasn't easy for him last year with so many injuries but now he is working very well."

- Attacking Spurs pose problems -

Pellegrini has previously been critical of clubs as having a negative approach to trips to City, comparing Chelsea, who drew 1-1 with City last month, to the "small team" approach of the Stoke side that won 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season.

But Pellegrini said City also found it hard against teams like Tottenham that adopt a more positive approach.

"When you are talking first about the spectacle, the game for the fans it's difficult when one team doesn't want to play," he said.

"Then you have to play 90 minutes against 10 players around their box and not concede on the counter-attack.

"Tottenham is a very strong team that play attractive football also. We had a lot of clear chances but it wasn't easy for us to play against this team."

Aguero gave City an early lead and after Christian Eriksen pulled one back for the visitors, the Argentina star scored a second from the spot.

He had another penalty saved by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris before half-time but Spurs striker Roberto Soldado saw his spot-kick blocked by Joe Hart.

Aguero converted his third penalty of the afternoon --Tottenham's Argentinian debutant Federico Fazio was sent off the foul -- before scoring his fourth goal.

One worrying sight for City was veteran midfielder Frank Lampard being carried off in the first-half. He will have a muscle injury assessed on Sunday.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was pleased with the north London club's progress and made no apologies for giving Fazio his first taste of Premier League action in such difficult circumstances.

"Fazio was good a good performance. It was a penalty and a red card but we have a lot of players and we have to manage the time.

"We have improved and we need to take the positive things from the team from the game," added Pochettino, who only arrived at White Hart Lane in pre-season after joining from Premier League rivals Southampton.

"We had a very good team but Aguero had his best day."


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