Barcelona coach Xavi denies reports Aguero is to retire

By Sports Desk November 20, 2021

Barcelona head coach Xavi has denied reports that striker Sergio Aguero has been forced to retire.

Rumours emerged on Saturday that the Argentina international will hold a news conference next week to confirm he will not resume his playing career.

Aguero has not played a game since the 1-1 draw with Deportivo Alaves at Camp Nou on October 30, during which he was substituted after feeling dizzy and suffering apparent discomfort in his chest.

Barca later confirmed he would be unavailable for three months while doctors monitored a suspected cardiovascular problem. The 33-year-old tweeted on November 12 to insist he was "always positive" amid suggestions he would not be able to continue playing.

Xavi, who oversaw a 1-0 win over Espanyol in his first match in charge, insisted it was not true that Aguero's retirement was confirmed.

"What's come out isn't true," he told reporters. "I spoke with him, he's calm and happy. I asked him to come back when he was feeling okay."

 

Memphis Depay's penalty sealed Barca's victory over their city rivals, although they rode their luck in the closing stages as Raul de Tomas twice hit the post and Landry Dimata headed a glorious chance for an equaliser wide.

"I'm very happy with the three points and the effort of the players," said Xavi. "We're not in the best of spirits and Espanyol created a lot of problems for us. And we deserved the luck with the posts.

"I'm happy, and I think it was a deserved victory. What couldn't fail, which was the attitude, didn't fail."

The result moved Barca to within eight points of LaLiga leaders Sevilla, who earlier drew with Alaves, after 13 LaLiga matches.

While a title shot appears unlikely at this stage, Xavi – an eight-time league champion in a glittering playing career with the club – saw no reason to discount a challenge for the trophy.

"We're far away but there are matches left. I'm optimistic and why can't we fight for the title?" he said.

Related items

  • Rose 'angry' after Dortmund blow chance at title with shock DFB-Pokal exit Rose 'angry' after Dortmund blow chance at title with shock DFB-Pokal exit

    Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose admits he is "angry" after his side spurned a golden opportunity to win a title after crashing out of the DFB-Pokal 2-1 to St Pauli on Tuesday.

    DFB-Pokal holders Dortmund conceded twice in the first half before Erling Haaland pulled back a 58th minute penalty but they could not find an equalizer in the last-16 clash.

    The defeat means for the first time since 2006-07, neither Dortmund or Bayern Munich will contend in the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals, with Rose admitting it was a major missed opportunity.

    "I'm just angry. The cup is a chance for a title and we're generally in good shape," Rose told Sky. "Then we just give the game away in the first 10 minutes.

    "The fact that you then get into problems with the ground and the strong opponent under the conditions is inexplicable and cannot be excused."

    Dortmund had come into the DFB-Pokal game fresh from beating SC Freiburg 5-1 in the Bundesliga on Friday, as well as coming from behind to win 3-2 over Eintracht Frankfurt.

    "It's a pity and a bit stupid of us that after a top performance against Freiburg and the game we played in Frankfurt, we didn't do it again," Rose said.

    "Unfortunately, we are again confirming a few things that have been held up to us in the last few weeks, months and years. It's just our fault.

    "The end pisses me off because it was a chance for a title and we're just giving the game away."

  • Umtiti out for three months after foot surgery Umtiti out for three months after foot surgery

    Samuel Umtiti is expected to be out of action for around three months after undergoing surgery on a fractured metatarsal, Barcelona have announced. 

    France international Umtiti had a procedure on his right foot on Tuesday and will be consigned to the sidelines until April at the earliest. 

    A club statement read: "Samuel Umtiti has undergone successful surgery on the fifth metatarsal of his right foot. 

    "Tuesday's operation was performed by Dr Antoni Dalmau under supervision of the FC Barcelona Medical Services. He is expected to be out of action for around three months. 

    "The French centre-back suffered the fracture in training on Monday." 

    Umtiti this month signed a new contract that tied him to Camp Nou until 2026, despite having been heavily linked with an exit.  

    The World Cup-winning defender's three-year extension included a temporary pay decrease that allowed new signing Ferran Torres to be registered. 

    Umtiti has long been a peripheral figure at Barcelona, featuring in just 17 games in all competitions since the start of last season.

  • 'Juventus finding some consistency' - Landucci hails Bianconeri after Coppa Italia progress 'Juventus finding some consistency' - Landucci hails Bianconeri after Coppa Italia progress

    Juventus assistant manager Marco Landucci applauded his players' attitude and believes they are building consistency following their Coppa Italia victory over Sampdoria.

    The Bianconeri made a strong start to their title defence with a commanding 4-1 win over the Blucerchiata at the Allianz Stadium.

    Goals from Juan Cuadrado and Daniele Rugani put the hosts in control and despite Andrea Conti's reply for the visitors, further strikes from Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata sealed the passage into the quarter-finals.

    Landucci oversaw Juve's fortunes in the absence of Massimiliano Allegri, who is serving a touchline ban in the Coppa Italia held over from his first stint in charge of the club.

    And the assistant hailed the efforts of his squad, who are now unbeaten after 90 minutes in their last 11 across all competitions.

    "We put in a good performance, which wasn’t easy with so few people in the stadium," he told Sport Mediaset.

    "We had the right attitude, were fired up, and it was very important that we go through to the next round, as the Coppa Italia is a great tournament. Everyone did very well.

    "The attitude is crucial, and we had many games with the right attitude, even missing key players. There are no easy games; we saw that [when] we lost more points against the so-called smaller sides like Verona, Empoli and Udinese.

    "The only thing that matters is hard work, attitude and desire. We are finding some consistency now; we need to speak with actions rather than words."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.