Aguero thanks Bauza, Guardiola for faith

Sergio Aguero has thanked Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola for helping him get through an examining period. The 28-year-old has failed to score in five 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifiers. After he missed a penalty and a gilt-edged chance in a 1-0 loss at home to Paraguay last time out, however, Bauza insisted “the first player I’ll call up is Aguero”.

“I heard his words,” said the striker whose scored 33 goals in 79 internationals. “I was happy because it showed the coach was betting on me.

“What I have to do now is try and do my best. My enthusiasm and desire are always there – I’ll always try my utmost.”

After the game against Paraguay, Aguero was surprisingly dropped from Manchester City’s starting XI for the games against Everton and Barcelona.

“The first few days after the qualifier were really hard and complicated, so I didn’t play against Everton,” explained Aguero. “It was a pretty hard week, but fortunately got over it.”

The former Independiente and Atletico Madrid player attributes that, in part, to Guardiola, who said that inside the penalty area Aguero is on a par with no less than Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

“Whenever a coach gives you that kind of praise, it makes you really happy,” said the City No10. “If your confidence is at a two, it goes up to a seven or eight. I get on really well with Pep. He’s always helping me grow as a player and help the team. He lifts my confidence.”

Argentina are sixth in the South American qualifying standings, but victories away to Brazil on Thursday and at home to Colombia five days later, could see them climb as high as top.

“Matches against Brazil are always difficult and important, and we will try to do our best. Brazil are Brazil – they’re always very tough opponents," he said.

“But the idea is to try and take six points from these two games because we’re not in a good position in the table. Beating Brazil would give us the confidence we need. This is a great chance to earn three points and climb to the top.”

To mark the 30th anniversary of Argentina’s second World Cup triumph, FIFA.com recently produced a series of videos, interviews and features, which you can see by following the links to the right.