Aguero is ‘extraordinary’: Argentina teammate Zabaleta

Vina del Mar (Chile), June 18 (IANS) Argentina defender Pablo Zabaleta has said his Manchester City teammate Sergio Aguero was in an “extraordinary” moment after the 27-year-old striker scored the only goal in their Copa America 1-0 victory over Uruguay.

Aguero headed home a cross from his club colleague in the 56th minute on Tuesday and Argentina held out for a narrow win which saw them top Group B alongside Paraguay ahead of their final match in the sector against Jamaica on Saturday.

“Kun is in an extraordinary moment,” Zabaleta said at a press conference on Wednesday. “He had a great season at club level and finished as the top scorer in the Premier League. He has also had a great start to the Copa America.”

However, Aguero is now doubtful for the game against Jamaica after picking up a shoulder injury on Tuesday.

“The medical team are going to evaluate him,” Zabaleta added.

“It’s nothing too serious, but they will have to take the necessary precautions to see if he will be ready in time.”

If not, coach Gerardo Martino has fantastic options in Carlos Tevez and Gonzalo Higuain – and Zabaleta believes Argentina’s attacking quality is one of their main attributes in this competition.

“We have a squad of players with so much quality,” he said.

“Especially in midfield and attack. We have players who create many goalscoring chances and who are excellent finishers. We need to close games out and finish off our rivals, but we know we have a wealth of talent in attack and we are very lucky to count on those footballers.”

One of those is Lionel Messi and the FC Barcelona forward is yet to reach his peak in this Copa America, despite two very good performances against Paraguay and Uruguay.

“We know what Leo represents and what he means for this national team – both on and off the pitch,” Zabaleta said.

“When you have the best player in the world, you try to take advantage as much as you can. We are always looking for him because he know he will cause more danger,” he said.

There are moments in the match when he creates danger from central positions. We try to circulate the ball as quickly as we can so he can have one-on-one situations and to give him alternatives. But wherever he plays, Leo will create danger for the opposition just like he has in the last two matches.”

And on the game against Jamaica, the Manchester City right-back added: “We have to be totally concentrated. Maybe they have no chance of qualifying, but we are taking this match just as seriously as the last two and we want to achieve our objective of finishing first in the group.”

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