Unquestionably one of the major attractions of the tournament,
the 19-year-old forward already has one FIFA U-20 world title in
the bag and is jockeying for a position in the Atletico Madrid
first team alongside some very big names. And yet, even though his
rise to stardom has been quicker than most, Sergio
Kun Aguero remains a wide-eyed teenager at heart.
The Argentinian sensation, who at the age of 15 became the youngest player ever to turn out in his country's first division, was the centre of attention at the Ottawa hotel where the Group E teams are staying. FIFA.com caught up with the young wizard and witnessed Agueromania at first hand, with Panamanians and Koreans alike united in their awe of the Albiceleste star.
Read on as the man who many people are tipping to become the player of the tournament at the FIFA U-20 World Cup shares his hopes, dreams and secrets.
FIFA.com: Sergio, after many months of waiting you are finally in Canada. Is it what you expected?
Sergio Aguero: It is, yes. It's a very beautiful country. As footballers we're very lucky in that way - we get to see different parts of the world, and I have to say we're very happy to be here right now. The people of Ottawa have treated us very well and apparently there are lots of Argentinians living in the city. Let's hope we can give them something to smile about.
Why do you think the people of Canada are getting behind Argentina?
It's hard to say. Perhaps it's got something to do with the fact that we've won so many U-20 world titles. They must see us as one of the leading teams and they know we can win it again.
One of the great things about being a footballer is having the opportunity to visit different countries and experience different cultures.
Yes, that's great. You see places, you learn a lot and you broaden your mind. I never thought I'd be able to see another country or that I'd even play in the first division. Thanks to God things have gone well for me and I've managed to make it here. The fact is I can't quite believe it.
What is the first FIFA U-20 World Cup you remember?
Argentina 2001, when [Andres] d'Alessandro, [Javier] Saviola and [Maximiliano] Rodriguez all played. That was a great side and I never imagined that I was going to be here one day. Then, as I got older, I started to think I might have a chance.
Hugo Tocalli said this could be your tournament. What do you feel about that?
Very motivated. It gives me even more confidence to perform well. He expects a lot from me and I hope I can repay his faith by putting in a good tournament. The aim is to reach the team objective, not just my personal goal.
And what is your goal?
To be named player of the tournament, God willing.
How has your life changed since Netherlands 2005?
In lots of ways. Back then I wasn't playing that much for Independiente. But after we won the title I started to get a place in the first team and put some good games together. That gave me the chance to move to Atletico Madrid and now here I am at another World Cup. The fact is everything has happened so quickly. I still feel as if it's 2004.
What have you learned from your year in Europe?
It has given me a lot of experience and the opportunity to see a different kind of football. At first I found it hard to adapt - the weather's different in Argentina as is the pace of the game. But you soon get used to it. It wasn't as difficult as people said. In fact, it's been fairly straightforward.
There was a lot of speculation last year about you being selected for Germany 2006. You could, in fact, draw a comparison with Diego Maradona's situation in 1978, when he missed out on the FIFA World Cup but went on to win the FIFA World Youth Championship in Japan the following year.
I hope the same thing happens to me. I knew I didn't have much chance of making it to Germany because there were some great forwards around. I know what happened to Diego in 78, and I'm also going to give it everything to play in the World Cup.
The tournament has not even started yet but lots of people are already talking about a showdown with Brazil. Is that something you would like to happen?
It's always nice to play a clasico against Brazil, but we've got to concentrate on getting out of the group first. Once you get into the Round of 16, your opponents tend to play a little more and give you more space. Our feeling is that teams will defend in numbers in the group phase. And that means we need to be patient.
Whatwould winning the title mean to the team?
Lots of things, but above all it will give us the chance to go on a fight for a place in the full team. That's what everyone dreams about.