MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – New star striker Sergio Aguero believes he can have a similar impact at Manchester City as Diego Maradona, his legendary father-in-law, had at Napoli, The (London) Times reported Monday.
Napoli had never won the Italian championship until Maradona arrived in 1984 and transformed its fortunes, with the former Argentina captain inspiring the club to two Serie A titles, the Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup.
City's last title success came 43 years ago, but Aguero is hoping to help to end that long wait this season. The Argentina striker's hat-trick in the 3-0 victory at home to Wigan Athletic on Saturday took his tally to six goals in four games since his £35 million (US$56m) move from Atletico Madrid in July and ensured that City maintained its imperious start to the season.
Roberto Mancini's team has won all four matches so far, scoring 15 times in the process, and is second on goal difference to Manchester United, which has started the campaign in similarly impressive form, at the top of the English Premier League.
Asked if he can prove as much of an inspiration to City as Maradona did for Napoli, Aguero said, "Yes, I hope so.
"I'm coming here to help the team develop and win titles and if we can do that this year it will be perfect, but we'll keep on and on trying to get better and better and I hope to play a big part in that."
Napoli, coincidentally, will be City's opponents at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, when the Manchester club will compete in the Champions League for the first time.
Maradona will not be attending the game because of his commitments to Al Wasl, the Dubai club he manages, ahead of the new United Arab Emirates Pro-League season, but Aguero -- who is married to Maradona's youngest daughter -- knows his father-in-law will be willing him to overcome his former club.
"He's in Dubai training his team there and the league is starting down there so he won't be able to make it, but he'll support me and Manchester City for sure because I'm his son-in-law, part of the family," Aguero said.