Sergio Aguero in battle to be fit for World Cup

The star striker is in a race against time to be fit for Argentina's first World Cup match against Iceland.
Updated 20 April 2018
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Sergio Aguero in battle to be fit for World Cup

  • City striker injured knee in training in March.
  • Has played last game for City this season.

Argentine international striker Sergio Aguero faces a race against time to be fit for the World Cup in Russia after Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola revealed his club season was over.
Guardiola, whose side secured the Premier League title last Sunday, said the 29-year-old would be sidelined for four to five weeks following minor knee surgery.
Aguero is City’s top scorer with 30 goals in all competitions this season. The injury, suffered in training on March 10, does not appear to rule him out of Argentina’s World Cup campaign.
Asked if the striker’s season was over, Guardiola said: “Here, yeah. He will be out for four or five weeks. He is in Barcelona right now. We are going to fight to get him to the World Cup.”
The World Cup starts in mid-June, with Argentina due to play their opening match against Iceland in Moscow on June 16.
“Recovering from an arthroscopy on my knee,” Aguero tweeted on Tuesday. “Fully motivated to get back soon to the field.”
Aguero, who has 199 goals for the club, has not started a game since City’s victory over Chelsea on March 4.
Following a month-long lay-off he returned to action as a late substitute in the derby defeat to Manchester United on April 7, when he was hurt in a controversial challenge from Ashley Young that went unpunished.
The striker was this week named in the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Premier League team of the year.


Jose Mourinho’s sacking leaves the ‘Special One’ at a career crossroads

Updated 18 December 2018
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Jose Mourinho’s sacking leaves the ‘Special One’ at a career crossroads

  • Since the middle of last season, Mourinho had been involved in a power struggle with senior members of the playing squad
  • A string of uninspiring performances since the season started saw Mourinho come in for criticism from all sides

LONDON: Five years after being snubbed for the Manchester United job immediately after the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho has once again been unceremoniously rejected by the club after two-and-a-half fractious and tumultuous years at the helm.
And the truth is, it was an inevitable divorce.
Since the middle of last season, Mourinho had been involved in a power struggle with senior members of the playing squad, openly criticized board members for a lack of backing in the transfer window and the majority of fans had started to turn on the so-called “Special One” and his tactics.
And while they would never do so publicly, no doubt several of the players who had fallen foul of Mourinho’s wrath were privately breathing a sigh of relief when the club announced that Mourinho had left the club with “immediate effect” on Tuesday.
Indeed, the player Mourinho clashed with the most — £89 million ($112 million) midfielder Paul Pogba — deleted a controversial social media post of himself smiling after the news broke.
That controversy was a microcosm of the French World Cup winner’s stormy relationship with Mourinho.
But the former Juventus player, who retuned to Manchester United having already been with the club during the Ferguson era, was repeatedly criticized by Mourinho during his reign and Pogba was stripped of the United vice-captaincy earlier this season.
The pair were captured having a frosty exchange on the training ground as Mourinho grew angry with his key midfielder’s lethargic performances, dropping him on several occasions to spark talk he would be sold by the end of the season.
And even on the pitch, the writing has been on the wall for a while.
A string of uninspiring performances since the season started saw Mourinho come in for criticism from all sides, as the Portuguese became more and more embittered and paranoid in his dealings with the media.
The final straw for the club was Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool, who United usurped as the biggest club in England under Ferguson’s 27-year reign. And the Scot was seen shaking his head as he watched his dynasty unravel in front of his eyes at the hands of United’s bitterest of rivals.
While the Merseyside club battle it out for the Premier League title with Manchester City and Tottenham — all playing a refreshing, exciting brand of football — United find themselves 19 points adrift of the summit and struggling to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Mourinho’s stagnant, defensive approach jarred with supporters, some of whom have only known the rampant attack-minded approach the club used to such devastating efficacy under Ferguson.
Mourinho was brought in to bring back those glory days after David Moyes and then Dutchman Louis van Gaal struggled to step out of Ferguson’s shadow.
And despite first-season League Cup and Europa League titles, he has failed miserably since. And he has bought himself little good grace with fans and officials, finding new excuses and ways to blame each latest defeat on his players, while ungraciously reminding critics of previous successes at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
But this ignominious end for Mourinho in what he called his “dream job” leaves him at a crossroads in his career. Few clubs will have been inspired by his playing style with a highly-talented team, even fewer will want to deal with the off-field tantrums and constant bickering.
Having arrived in English football as a breath of fresh air, he leaves it (for now) like a foul odor. With the prospect of no club to manage, no trophies to win and no teams to build, Mourinho is now much less the “Special One,” and more and more likely to be the “Tainted One.”