Aguero in same class as Brazil's Romario and Ronaldo - Fernandinho

Alam Khan 19/08/2015
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Manchester City’s main man: Sergio Aguero scores the opener against Chelsea.

After a brilliant brace on his Manchester City debut back in 2011, Roberto Mancini described Sergio Aguero as a “photocopy” of striking legend Romario.

The former Blues boss had no doubt about the goalscoring ability of the man he signed from Atletico Madrid for £38 million (Dh220m) – and who would lead the club to Premier League glory in a dream first season.

And current City team-mate Fernandinho believes Aguero, 27, will rank alongside Romario and fellow Brazilian great Ronaldo for his frontline feats.

Despite injury problems, his strike in Sunday’s 3-0 win over champions Chelsea was Aguero’s 79th in 122 league games for City, and he was only denied a hat-trick by the heroics of Asmir Begovic.

And Brazil international Fernandinho, 30, said: “He’s an amazing player, with great technical ability and great finishing. He showed that on the pitch and you are happy to have him on your side. Yes, he is like Romario when he plays. His style is similar to Romario and if he can score a lot of goals like Romario did then I will be very, very happy.

“I watched Romario when I was young and he was one of my idols.

“Romario was amazing, Sergio is amazing and Ronaldo too. In Brazil, we had a lot of good players, strikers like that. Sergio has a great chance to be the best striker in the world, to be like them as one of the best ever, if he keeps working hard as he is now.

"When Romario or Ronaldo missed a chance they continued and went for the next one. 

“They continued working and trying and I think this is the difference of the great players. That’s what Sergio is like.

“It’s important to keep Sergio fit. When he is fit, he can cause a lot of problems for the opponents and help us with goals and assists 
because he is a great player.

“Last year he was the best striker in the Premier League and top scorer, but he didn’t win the title of Player of the Year. This year I hope he can score a lot of goals again and he can win that title.”

But City also have their eye on the team prize too, with Manuel Pellegrini’s men desperate to be English champions again.

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Impressive 3-0 wins over West Brom and Chelsea have made them the early favourites, and Fernandinho added: “It’s not a problem.

“Manchester City are one of the favourites to win the Premier League because we have a good manager, good players and our style of play is good. Everyone likes that because we score a lot of goals.

“I think we have come to win the title this season. I’m proud of being part of this team and it’s the way we like to play, with a lot of intensity and control of the ball.

“We like to have possession and in both games we have played, we did it in the best way. The important thing is to win the title and if we can do it with style and by entertaining, it’s perfect. But if you cannot, we have to be more consistent, especially in defending.

“This season we start very different from last year and I think we are in a good way to have a great Premier League season.”

Fernandinho also looks in fine form after struggles in the previous campaign that Pellegrini has put down to the effects of last year’s World Cup. He fired City’s third goal against Chelsea after shrugging off a clash with Diego Costa.

The Blues striker felt he had been elbowed following an aerial challenge and had to be restrained by team-mates as he sought out Fernandinho at half time. But the City midfielder denied there was any intent and said: “It was an accident and the nature of the game.

“It was a shock and I received a yellow card, it happens in football. He is always trying to offend the opposition, but I keep calm and keep playing. I just didn’t want to fight or have any confrontation – and just to play for my team.

“For me it’s important to win, to get the three points, but if I can score then I am very proud. If I can score more goals in the future I will be very happy.”

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Improved Al Fujairah can gatecrash AGL's top six

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Read for the AGL: Al Fujairah (orange).

I am happy to stay at Fujairah, fulfilling the second year of my two-year contract.

We completed the first target of my debut season to stay in the Arabian Gulf League, finishing in ninth place.

For the club, it was the first time ever they stayed in the top flight. This year, we want to be in the top six – that is our target.

There will be a derby this season between Fujairah and Dibba Al Fujairah. I have played many times in the Glasgow derby for Rangers against Celtic.

That game is the biggest derby in the world, for me.

It will be different out here, it is more about families. Last year we played Ittihad Kalba, it felt like a derby, but it is different to Europe with the fans.

But you feel inside the club these games are very important.

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Now it is my fourth year in the Arabian Gulf, after previously playing in Qatar for Lekhwiya. I really enjoy it, it is different to Europe.

It is more difficult to play here, as there are just four foreign professionals in the team. You need to prove yourself every game.

The quality of the professionals make the difference for each team. They are the heart of the team.

We need to keep in the same shape. We have a very good spirit in the team, coach Ivan Hasek has created a very good atmosphere.

We are like a family. The people at Fujairah are very friendly.

For next season, we need to keep the same level. If we do that, we will be in the top six.

There are excellent players throughout this league. We saw last season with Al Jazira bringing in Mirko Vucinic, a top striker from Juventus.

When you are here, you have to also support the local players. You cannot come here to be selfish.

As an experienced centre-back, I have to guide and encourage.

There are some very good Emirati players out here. But the best ones need to move to Europe to progress further.

Bougherra was speaking at the adidas Football Bunker at Dubai Sports World, where football fans can be among the first to play in adidas’ revolutionary new boots, X and ACE.

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Rodrigo Lima’s arrival will help Al Ahli back on top in AGL

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Brazilian delight: Rodrigo Lima.

Last year, Al Ahli had some difficulties in the top flight, but this summer we have done very well in our training camp in Italy. It went very well for us and I am sure we will get better results after finishing seventh last season.

My Brazilian compatriot Lima was bought from Benfica last month and I am sure he will bring goals to the team.

Lima and myself have become very good friends. We have a good chemistry together on the pitch, me as the playmaker and he as the centre forward.

We have played together very well during pre-season and we will try to bring good results. Lima is a good guy and a team guy, he is with the team always.

He has also scored several goals during our pre-season games, against teams like Internazionale.

We are trying to bring as many titles as possible to Ahli. We have worked so hard to ensure we are successful.

It is going to be very tough during this season. There are so many teams who are playing well and fighting hard to be the champions.

It is going to be very difficult for all of us.

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Returning Al Jazira coach Abel Braga is an amazing guy. I spoke with him before I made my move to the Arabian Gulf League from Cruzeiro in February.

He said it is an amazing place to play and work, that I will enjoy it.

Now, it will be very difficult because Jazira are much stronger with him as their boss. Braga won many trophies with them during his first spell there.

It will be a great fight with them for the title. 

It was amazing to experience being part of Brazil’s Copa America squad this summer. 

It was a dream to play in an official tournament for my country, even though we exited at the quarter-final stage.

Coming back to play here, I will try to do my best and work my way back into the international set-up. 

Brazil legend Rivaldo made some comments about the Brazil squad for the Copa. The Brazilian people have different comments about me and my move to Al Ahli, but I am very happy to be here. 

The fans in the UAE will be the judge of me, that is to whom I have to prove myself.

It is very, very hot at the moment, but I have experienced this already in May’s President’s Cup final against Al Nasr, which we unfortunately lost on penalties.

I know in the near future the temperature will drop and I am sure we will then play very well.

Ribeiro was speaking at the launch of Nike’s new Al Ahli kits for the 2015/16 season, at Sun & Sand Sports’ flagship Dubai Mall store.

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