Aguero have the Maradona's shadow in playing ball
Sergio Aguero is about to step into the very big shadow of father in law Diego Maradona, playing on exactly the same pitch exactly where the Argentine great won two Italian league titles for Napoli. Aguero will line up for Manchester City against the southern Serie A club in a Champions League match at San Paolo stadium on Tuesday.
Having joined City from Atletico Madrid for a reported transfer fee of 35 million pounds in July, Aguero has thus far lived up to his billing with ten objectives in 11 Premier League matches force to Arsenal Jersey. He also came off the bench to score Argentina's winner in a 2-1 win over Colombia in a Globe Cup qualifier last week. "I'm absolutely not nervous. I'm just going to attempt to have enjoyable," the 23-year-old Aguero said. "Of course Maradona did great here, but I'm just going to try and give my best tomorrow." Aguero has been together with Maradona's daughter, Giannina, for several years and also the couple have a son, Benjamin, who was born in 2009. However, Aguero has been linked with Maradona as far as back as 2003, when he became the youngest each player in Argentina's leading division at the age of 15, breaking the previous record set by Maradona. Aguero will undoubtedly be treated with affection by Napoli's rabid fans - many of whom nonetheless name their kids Diego after Maradona's exploits. "I don't know how they'll treat me, but hope to be welcomed on any pitch I play on," Aguero said in comments translated from Spanish. "Maradona is a god in Argentina. "I haven't been in a position to speak to him following his mother's death but I want to send my condolences," Aguero stated, referring to the death of Maradona's mother Saturday, adding: "It's definitely a dream of mine to repeat what Maradona did. Not just individually, although, but with the whole City team." He wouldn't let on if Argentina teammate and Napoli forward Ezequiel Lavezzi had ever asked him to play for Napoli. "It's tough to speak about football when we're using the national team," Aguero stated. "We don't see each other frequently, so we talk about other things, and anyhow that would be a lack of respect to our clubs." City manager Roberto Mancini played against Maradona with Sampdoria within the 1980s and 90s - the period when Maradona led Napoli to Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990, and also the 1989 UEFA Cup.
"I have lots of memories here - from when we were much younger," Mancini said. "There had been plenty of objectives scored, especially by Diego." The match also marks a return of sorts for former Inter Milan forward Mario Balotelli, who left the Italian league for City in 2010. Balotelli has scored six objectives in eight Premier League games this season, and Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has credited Mancini with the striker's improved maturity. "I'm attempting to give him a hand just like I do with everybody," Mancini said. "But he's the 1 who has changed and desires to show what he's worth. I hope that he plays tomorrow exactly the same way he's played the last 3 months." Meanwhile, Mancini wasn't about to be drawn into recent comparisons between City - which is top the Premier League - and also the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid one with Cristiano Ronaldo Jersey. "We have excellent players - a lot of them, but it's early yet to say we're like Real or Barca," Mancini said. "We've really only been playing together for a year and a half. We still need to enhance a great deal. I think we're closer to Napoli correct know than Barca or Real."