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Aguero to wear iconic no.10 shirt in Messi’s absence



It’s the most iconic shirt number in Argentine football and Sergio Aguero is ready to bear it on the road to Russia 2018.

Argentina kick off their World Cup qualifying campaign this weekend without their injured captain Lionel Messi and the man who scored five goals in his last game will take up the vacant no.10 shirt in his abensce.

Kun will don the jersey under strict orders from the four-time Ballon d’Or winner – to prove he’s not “chicken” if nothing else.

"I spoke to the kitman and he told me it is obligatory - someone has to use it because the numbers go from 1 to 23," Aguero revealed.

"I wore it for the first time against Bosnia, in a friendly in the United States, and Leo said: 'When I am not around, Kun has to use it.' Then he started to send me messages: 'Are you going to wear it? You're not going to chicken out?'

"Now every time he is absent it is up to me to wear it. I am happy to pull on the shirt, but it obviously belongs to him."

Messi is expected to miss both of Argentina’s opening games of World Cup qualifying against Ecuadaor and Paraguay on Thursday and Tuesday night respectively.

He’s also a doubt for the crunch clashes against Brazil and Colombia in November, teeing up the mouthwatering repreise of the Kun/Carlos Tevez attacking axis.

The pair linked up sublimely to fire City to the title in 2011/12 and Aguero is sure that there is enough firepower in the Albiceleste ranks, even without the “irreplaceable” Messi.

"It is a bit strange because Leo has always been here with us, but these things happen in football, we have great players here and we can do well without him," Aguero explained.

"Obviously it is different without him but we can still make a good start.

"Messi is Messi, he is irreplaceable. But there is a great team here which can make his absence felt less sharply. Now the key is winning, picking up three points. We are playing at home, it is a long time since Argentina has seen us and we have to play well from the start to gain confidence."

Kun also spoke about his five-goal haul and opened up more on what Manuel Pellegrini had hinted at post-match: that he had actually played with a slight injury.

He added: “I was coming from a blow to the hip against Borussia Monchengladbach which caused it to load the adductor, and that is the trouble that I have now.

“Then I recovered those two days later and played Saturday with some discomfort.

“But my manager Manuel put together a team to go out and play, and I did not move the area much, and that helped me.

“These kind of moments only come along once. Sometimes they don't go in. It's on days like these that they all count.”

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