What is it with Argentine strikers and Manchester City's forays into the Champions League?
Last season, it was Carlos Tevez refusing to warm up away at Bayern Munich—and all that came after it.
A year later, Sergio Aguero chose the aftermath of City's 3-2 defeat to Real Madrid to admit he'd only joined the Premier League champions because Madrid themselves weren't interesting in signing him.
"If Madrid had wanted me, I would be playing here, I had no choice but to sign with Manchester City," Aguero told reporters at the Bernabeu, as per Yahoo!
This was a shocking statement for two reasons.
Firstly, because Aguero built his reputation as the darling of Madrid's city rivals Atletico and was widely quoted this week as saying he would never "betray them by joining Real." (Marca)
And secondly, because City paid £38 million to give Aguero the privilege of earning spectacular amounts of money in their colors—a privilege he seemingly rather enjoyed on the way to winning the Premier League title last season.
You may remember Aguero scored the goal that won that title.
So what exactly has gone on since that heady day at The Etihad last May to make Aguero feel like publicly undermining the club that pays his wages?
Could it just be frustration brought on by the knee injury he suffered on Premier League opening day against Southampton?
Or maybe it was the fact City manager Roberto Mancini turned to Edin Dzeko before him at the Bernabeu?
Or could it have something to do with the controversy around the recuperating Aguero's inclusion in Argentina's squad for World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay and Peru earlier this month?
Maybe Aguero's comments in Madrid were designed as a power play. He remains, after all, City's most potent attacking threat and was hugely influential in their success last season. Why shouldn't he travel with his country? And what reason for not bringing him off the bench against Real?
After his comments went viral, Aguero was quick to backtrack.
I feel comfortable and appreciated in @mcfc - it's a project I feel involved in. We want more titles and we'll get them!— Sergio Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) September 18, 2012
But you sense the damage had already been done.
The big question now, is how Mancini reacts. After City's indifferent start to the new campaign, he needs Aguero badly. But if he really feels the striker has acted inappropriately and to undermine his team's progress, he only need look to Sir Alex Ferguson's example for what to do next.
Don't be surprised if Aguero finds himself warming the bench against Arsenal on Sunday.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!