Argentine striker Sergio Aguero, who retired Wednesday, signed with Barcelona in May after a long tenure with Manchester City. Photo by Alejandro Garcia/EPA-EFE
Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Barcelona's Sergio Aguero will retire from soccer at age 33 due to a heart condition, the Argentine striker announced Wednesday at a news conference.
"I've decided to stop playing professional football," Aguero told reporters in Barcelona. "It's a very difficult moment. I made the decision for my health, because of the problem I had a month and a half ago, I've decided to stop playing.
"I was in good hands of the medical staff that have done their best. They told me the best thing would be to stop playing. I made that decision 10 days ago.
"I want to tell everyone that I did everything possible to have some hope."
Aguero last played in Barcelona's 1-1 draw with Alaves on Oct. 30 in Barcelona. He left the match in the first half due to chest pain. Barcelona later announced that the pain was caused by an arrhythmia, a irregular heart rhythm.
"Sergio I think, as we just saw, we are left with deep joy and excitement with what you could have been here at Barcelona, but anything you need with your condition we are here at your disposal," Barcelona president Joan Laporta said at the news conference.
Aguero made his senior team debut in 2003 for Club Atletico Independiente in Avellaneda, Argentina.
He played from 2006 through 2011 at Atletico Madrid in Spain's La Liga and from 2011 through 2021 at Manchester City in England's Premier League.
Aguero joined Barcelona in May.
The Argentine is the most-prolific scorer in Manchester City history, with 260 goals in 390 games for the Sky Blues. He helped the Premier League power claim five league titles and totaled 15 trophies in England.
Aguero scored 102 goals for Atletico. He scored 42 times in 101 international appearances for Argentina.
He teamed up with fellow striker Lionel Messi on the national team last summer to win a Copa America title and finished as a runner-up at the 2014 World Cup.
"I feel OK right now," Aguero said. "Obviously the first two weeks were really difficult. When they did the first physical test on me, the medical staff told me there was a very big possibility I would not be able to continue playing.
"I am still processing everything. Then they called me to tell me it was definitive. Right now, I am OK, but it was difficult."
Several European teams, including former opponents, paid tribute to Aguero on Wednesday with social media posts.
Barcelona tied Boca Juniors 1-1 in a friendly Tuesday in Barcelona. The La Liga power hosts Elche in a league match at 12:30 p.m. EST Saturday at Camp Nou.