Chile, beware! Sergio Aguero is a man on a mission.
A year on from tasting defeat on football’s grandest stage in Brazil, the striker feels he has a score to settle in the Copa America final on Saturday night.
By his own admission, Kun was unable to produce his best form at World Cup 2014 due to a succession of injuries sustained that year but he’s fared better in this summer’s Copa America.
In fact, the striker is in contention to add to the Premier League Golden Boot won with City last season with the Chile 2015 version.
His latest goal, a glancing header 80 minutes into Argentina’s emphatic 6-1 semi-final win over Paraguay on Tuesday night, took his tally to three for the tournament, just one behind Chile’s Eduardo Vargas.
However, as you would expect, the 27-year old is more preoccupied with making sure the Albiceleste lift the trophy than clinching any individual accolades.
Aguero said: “I feel much better than I felt in the World Cup.
“In 2014, I had four injuries and then I was injured again against Nigeria in the first game.
“I always said that after what happened at the World Cup, I want to give my all - I didn’t show my best form there but this time I’m better – it’s a debt I’m trying to pay.
“It’s a great joy to reach the final - especially in the way that we did.
“We went out in the second half and played exactly the same way as we did in the first and that’s why we won.
“When they pulled it back to 2-1, we said ‘wow, the same thing as what happened in the group stages – we must not repeat those mistakes’.”
Aguero’s club teammate Martin Demichelis made his second start of the tournament in the semi-final win and contributed with a typically assured showing in the heart of defence.
“Micho”, as he is affectionately known, could be in contention to retain his place for the final as Ezequiel Garay suffered an injury in the days leading up to the last four clash.
He hinted to journalists after the game that the 6-1 scoreline was slightly misleading and shared his view that Paraguay were fatigued following their surprise win over Brazil in the quarters.
“There is a joy to having taken part and having broadly played well – we knew that they had lost a lot from their game against Brazil and that this might take its toll as they tried to impose themselves on us,” Demichelis reflected.
“They were a little tired and I think they could not reach the same level of pressing that they have shown in the competition so far.
“We were able to stay solid at the back even after they got back into the game at 2-1 and then we were able to add four more goals in the second half.”
Hosts Chile stand in the way of a first Argentine Copa America title in 23 years on Saturday night.
Is this finally the Albiceleste’s year?