Sergio Aguero Reveals Champions League Is Crucial to Manchester City Future

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2014

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 12:  Sergio Aguero of Manchester City FC looks on during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City at Camp Nou on March 12, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Manuel Pellegrini has told Sergio Aguero he cannot leave Manchester City without winning the Champions League.

The Argentinian striker recently revealed the manager's desire for him to stay, as reported by Andres Garavaglia of Sky Sports:

"He says to me that I can't leave without winning a Champions League," said Aguero. "That's the objective of each player in Europe."

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 29:  Sergio Aguero of Manchester City sits injured on the pitch  during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at White Hart Lane on January 29, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie M
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Such a challenge will be key to maintaining Aguero in the future, especially as the striker is in demand when fit and firing. Real Madrid and Barcelona are expected to target the former Atletico Madrid star during the summer, per Steve Bates of the Mirror, despite the 25-year-old's injury-plagued season.

Aguero has scored 21 goals and provided seven assists in 23 games across the Premier League and Champions League this season, per WhoScored.com. He is one of the world's best finishers and capable of winning any match with a moment of brilliance, as highlighted so many times during his career that has already spanned over a decade.

His last goal came during the 5-1 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur on Jan. 29, a match in which he was later injured. In all competitions, he scored 25 goals in 21 appearances before succumbing to injury at White Hart Lane, helping City to cement their place as title favourites.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 09:   Sergio Aguero of Manchester City battles with Josh McEachran of Wigan Athletic during the FA Cup Quarter-Final match between Manchester City and Wigan Athletic at the Etihad Stadium on March 9, 2014 in Manchester, England
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Aguero managed to make three appearances upon his latest return, but was pulled off early during the 2-1 away defeat to Barcelona with another problem. It's fair to say the striker appeared rusty and lacked the sharpness that has propelled him to universal plaudits over the past few years.

Despite missing much of the current campaign, Aguero is fourth in the Premier League top scorers' chart, per BBC Sport. His 15 domestic goals are only eclipsed by Yaya Toure (17), Daniel Sturridge (20) and Luis Suarez (29), three players who have excelled throughout the entire season.

City's quest to capture the Champions League ended at the round-of-16 stage this season. Barcelona brushed the English club aside, indicating Aguero and his colleagues will need to make significant improvements if they are to win the competition anytime soon.

The Etihad club will rely on the improving form of Edin Dzeko to secure this year's Premier League title, as noted by The Guardian's Daniel Taylor:

Aguero's cautiousness is understandable, especially as he will want to head toward this summer's World Cup in full fitness. Argentina are among the favourites in Brazil, with Aguero believing the nation possesses a "great team," according to Jamie Jackson of The Guardian.

That team will be significantly hampered if Aguero arrives with any inkling of injury. Although he must be monitored carefully at City in the coming weeks, the prolific forward remains at the heart of success for both club and country—something Pellegrini knows all too well.