Rio Ferdinand admits he has nothing but 'respect' for Sergio Aguero

Rio Ferdinand insists he was left ‘absolutely FLOORED, distraught and devastated’ by Sergio Aguero’s goal that cost Man United the title in 2012… but admits he has nothing but ‘respect’ for ‘humble’ outgoing Man City striker

  • Premier League great Sergio Aguero will be leaving Man City at end of season
  • Aguero is City’s all-time top scorer, with 257 goals to his name in 384 matches
  • He clinched City’s first Premier League title in the most dramatic fashion in 2012
  • Despite heartbreak it caused Utd, Rio Ferdinand has nothing but ‘respect’ for him

Rio Ferdinand has paid a belated tribute to his former rival Sergio Aguero after it was confirmed he would leave Manchester City at the end of the campaign – bringing up the painful experience from the dramatic final day of the 2011-12 season.

Aguero will depart City as the club’s all-time top scorer, having netted a remarkable 257 goals in 384 matches, but one strike more than any other sticks firmly in the memory as he prepares to bring the curtain down on his glittering career at the Etihad.

Aguero netted an incredible last-gasp winner on the final day of the season against QPR in May 2012, which landed City their first ever Premier League title in the most dramatic of circumstances possible.

Argentine striker Sergio Aguero will depart Manchester City at the end of the season

United were starting to celebrate winning the title on the final day at Sunderland with City faltering at home to QPR but Edin Dzeko netted in injury-time for Roberto Mancini’s side before Aguero grabbed what proved to be the famous winner to seal the crown. 

And in a tribute to the outgoing City striker, Ferdinand revealed the goal still haunts him to this day but admitted that he has nothing but ‘respect’ for Aguero – labelling him as one of the Premier League’s greatest ever.

In a tribute post on Instagram on Thursday morning, Ferdinand penned: ‘Agueroooooooooooo! This name, this goal, this moment still hits me at times when I least expect it like a bolt out the blue!

‘Our closest rivals just across the city, snatching the title from out of our hands. Absolutely floored, distraught, devastated….a whole season demolished in the final seconds of the last game.

‘[But] what I will say is that as much as I hated the outcome, I never hated or disliked Sergio for his moment like I thought I would.

Aguero celebrates after clinching the title for City in the most dramatic fashion in May 2012

‘I think how humble and chilled he seems plays a big part but as much, or more, is how much I respect him as a footballer. He is one of the hardest strikers I have ever marked.

‘He was direct once he had the ball. As a defender, he always had you on the edge and you had to have total concentration to make sure you knew where he was at all times.

‘Rivalries put to one side for a moment, Sergio Aguero is one of the best PL strikers of all time, no doubts. [He] snatched the PL trophy from under my nose but respect when respect is due! Good luck for the future.’

Aguero’s goal against QPR is the club’s most famous moment in their history, and the strike established City as one of the biggest forces in the Premier League.

The Argentine has won four Premier League titles, an FA Cup, and five League Cups during his decade-long stay at the Etihad.

Rio Ferdinand reacts after Aguero snatched the title away from United’s grasp in 2012

And his boss Pep Guardiola paid a glowing tribute to Aguero on Wednesday, claiming the striker will be ‘irreplaceable’.

‘Sergio is irreplaceable,’ the City boss told Sky Sports. ‘I could say in terms of numbers he can be replaceable, it’s not easy when you see more than 360 games played and more than 250 goals, the amount of titles…

‘So it’s the legend, the best striker this club has ever had for this century through the years, but is irreplaceable in the souls, in the hearts, in the minds of our fans, of our people, of the players that played alongside him and all the managers who worked with him.

‘He’s a fantastic person, a human being, and I’m pretty sure if his mind is still aggressive like he is, he can extend his career longer and longer than maybe two or three or four or five years. 

‘He helped us find a club organisation in a higher level. When he came here the club was in one level, and he helped to put the club in a higher level. And that’s why all the people are still here, and of course the fans always will be grateful.

Ferdinand has paid a great tribute to Aguero, admitting he has nothing but respect for striker

‘Without them, what we achieved in the past four or five years would not be possible, that’s for sure.

‘I think he still has interesting goals to score this season.’

It is not yet known where Aguero will end up when his City deal expires at the end of the season but it has been reported that he has been inundated with offers.

According to French news outlet Foot Mercato, rivals United are among five clubs to have offered the Argentine striker terms, with the likes of Inter Milan and PSG also in the hunt for his signature.

Sportsmail revealed earlier this month that Chelsea are also in the running to sign Aguero, who is keen to stay in the Premier League next season. 

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