Another game for Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, another milestone to celebrate.
When the 32-year-old Argentina striker found the goal with a penalty kick in Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Porto, it was for his 40th Champions League goal, with all but five for his current club.
Aguero joins an elite roster of snipers, becoming only the 14th player to reach this benchmark since the competition was rebadged in 1992.
He has now scored a total of 255 goals in 372 games for City, extending his club scoring record.
But, while his phenomenal run cannot be questioned, his wider impact on the Champions League is a little less convincing when you compare him to the company he maintains at the top of his charts – all but two players. won it. at least one time.
|Player / Rank||Games||Buts||Games taken at 40 (rank)|
|1. Cristiano Ronaldo||170||130||82 (11)|
|2. Lionel Messi||144||116||61 (= 2)|
|3. Raul||142||71||75 (9)|
|4. Robert Lewandowski||91||68||61 (= 2)|
|5. Karim Benzema||121||65||67 (4)|
|6. Ruud van Nistelrooy||73||56||45 (1)|
|7. Thierry Henry||112||50||73 (8)|
|= 8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic||120||48||101 (14)|
|= 8. Andriy Shevchenko||100||48||72 (= 6)|
|= 10. Thomas muller||116||46||92 (13)|
|= 10. Filippo Inzaghi||81||46||69 (5)|
|12. Didier Drogba||92||44||79 (10)|
|13. Alessandro del Piero||89||42||83 (12)|
|14. Sergio Aguero||72||40||72 (= 6)|
Great goal ratio – but why are they drying up?
Aguero’s raw numbers are beyond doubt, starting with his consistency – since making his Champions League debut for Atletico Madrid in 2008 he has competed in 12 of the possible 13 seasons and has scored at least one times in each of them. with an overall record that is better than a goal every two games.
Along with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski, Aguero is one of only five players to score in each season between 2011-12 and 2019-20 – he and Messi are the only two to have already crossed the mark. this campaign.
In terms of time, Aguero is the sixth-fastest player to reach 40 goals when counting games played.
Its effectiveness can hardly be questioned either. Aguero moved from 14th to ninth place in the standings considering his goals per minute ratio, with one goal every 127 minutes.
This is hardly a surprise considering that at domestic level he is leading the way in this regard ahead of Alan Shearer and everyone else on the Premier League’s all-time roster, with one goal every 108. minutes.
|Player / Rank||Buts||Minutes / goal|
|= 1. Mario Gomez||26||102|
|= 1. Lionel Messi||116||102|
|3. Harry Kane||20||104|
|4. Ruud van Nistelrooy||56||109|
|= 5. Robert Lewandowski||68||114|
|= 5. Cristiano Ronaldo||130||114|
|7. Filippo Inzaghi||46||119|
|8. Marco Simone||20||123|
|9. Sergio Aguero||40||127|
|10. Karim Benzema||65||130|
|Players with 20 or more goals in the Champions League|
It’s only when you look at WHEN Aguero’s European goals arrived that its track record begins to falter.
Of his 40 goals, 30 have come in group matches and another eight in the last 16. He only managed one in the quarter-finals or later – against Tottenham in 2019 – a stat surely linked to City’s struggles to progress beyond that point.
It’s not just the case that Aguero’s frequent injury issues have denied him the opportunity to add to his tally in the later stages – since 2016, City have made nine appearances in four quarter-finals and a half. final, and he only missed two of them.
But he’s played in far fewer of those games than most other names for hitting the 40-goal mark.
And, for some reason, when he got there he was simply less efficient than usual at a time when his team arguably needed him the most, with his goals-to-minutes ratio dropping to a low. every 543 minutes during the last eight matches.
|Player / Rank||Games played||Buts||Minutes played||Minutes per goal|
|1. Cristiano Ronaldo||49||42||4 508||107|
|2. Lionel Messi||41||20||3 552||178|
|= 3. Filippo Inzaghi||23||13||1 702||131|
|= 3. Andriy Shevchenko||26||13||2 253||173|
|= 3. Raul||31||13||2 751||212|
|6. Robert Lewandowski||22||12||1 878||157|
|= 7. Didier drogba||25||11||2 173||198|
|= 7. Thomas muller||36||11||2 698||245|
|= 9. Alessandro Del Piero||18||8||1 543||193|
|= 9. Karim Benzema||28||8||1 854||232|
|= 11. Ruud van Nistelrooy||6||4||522||131|
|= 11. Thierry Henry||21||4||1 492||373|
|= 11. Zlatan Ibrahimovic||17||4||1 423||356|
|14. Sergio Aguero||7||1||543||543|
Is this Aguero’s last chance?
City’s failure to win the Champions League or even reach a final isn’t Aguero’s fault, of course, but it does mean that, like his club, he currently has a glaring omission on his CV otherwise illustrated.
For now, it feels like a defining moment is missing in Europe to match his famous strike against QPR which earned him the first of his four domestic league titles with City in 2012.
His biggest contribution for City in the Champions League so far is likely their treble in the group stage in a spectacular comeback against Bayern Munich in 2014, rather than one of their nine goals from the last 16.
That’s still enough to make him the 21st joint top scorer in knockout goals, but they either had disappointing losses to Barcelona, Monaco (two goals) and Spurs, or what should be seen as wins less. that memorable. Dynamo Kiev, Basel and Schalke (three goals).
It sounds like a somewhat underwhelming showreel for a player of her abilities and while there is still time for Aguero to correct that and create a more meaningful European legacy with an iconic night of her own, maybe she runs out.
He is without a contract next summer and this season could be his last chance to solidify his status as a true Champions League legend.
One way to do that would be to finally get their hands on the famous trophy, but can he help City advance to the final in Istanbul by maintaining their score rate this time around?