Following the premature retirement of Sergio Aguero, Paris Saint-Germain superstar Lionel Messi has penned touching a tribute on social media.
Aguero was taken to hospital in late October after Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Alaves, complaining of chest problems. The medical advice was to retire from football, given the risk it would be continuing with his condition.
Then on Wednesday, the 33-year-old, through his club Barcelona, gave an emotional press conference in which he said that he would be retiring.
And compatriot Messi was on hand to deliver a long message of kindness.
“Practically a whole career together, Kun,” wrote Messi.
“We lived very beautiful moments and others that were not so, all of them made us unite more and more and be more friends. And we are going to continue living them together outside the field.
“With the great joy of lifting the America’s Cup so little ago, with all the achievements you achieved in England… And the truth is that now it hurts a lot to see how you have to stop doing what you like the most because of what happened to you.
“Surely you will continue to be happy because you are a person who transmits happiness and those of us who love you will be with you. Now a new stage of your life is starting and I am convinced that you are going to live it with a smile and with all the illusion that you put into everything.
“All the best in this new stage !!! I love you very much friend, I am going to miss a lot being with you on the field and when we get together with the National Team !!!’
Aguero ends his career having scored a fantastic 427 goals in 786 games, with 41 goals coming for Argentina. His goal rate of scoring every 108 minutes in the Premier League is the competition’s best ever.
He said at his announcement event: "This conference is to communicate that I have decided to stop playing football. It's a very difficult moment.
"When they did the first physical test on me in the clinic, the medical staff called me to tell me there was a very big possibility that I wouldn't be able to keep playing. From that point, I was processing it all but it wasn't easy. One of the doctors told me straight up, 'that's enough'.
"I want to tell everyone that I did everything possible. I dreamt about playing football since I was five years old and I first touched a ball. I never thought I would get to Europe, so I want to show my gratitude to everyone regardless of where I trained.
"I'm proud of the career I've had and am fortunate it is happening to me now rather than before. I don't know what awaits me in the next life but I know there are a lot of people who love me and want the best for me."