Sergio Aguero admits nerves ahead of Capital One Cup final
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 23/02/16 9:45am
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has revealed he gets butterflies in the build-up to big matches as the Argentine prepares to take on Liverpool in Sunday's Capital One Cup final at Wembley.
Aguero has competed in a number of major finals for club and country during his illustrious career, including the 2010 Europa League with Atletico Madrid, the 2014 League Cup with City and the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 Copa America for his country.
But despite playing at the very top of the game for several years, the forward still gets nervous in the days leading up to showpiece events - at least until the first whistle sounds.
"The butterflies are always there," Aguero told Sky Sports. "That's normal in any game. When it is a final, you just want to get the preparation over and play.
"Obviously you are wanting to do well, but as soon as you are out on the field that anxiety tends to go away once you start enjoying yourself in the game. Once you get on the ball, the nerves go.
"I like to have the same mental approach as when I was a kid. I like to enjoy it, whether it is training or a game. It is important somebody still has to win and lose, but the main thing is to enjoy it and that is the kind of attitude I take into training and into games."
We will be going all out for some sort of revenge and hopefully we have learnt from that and will get our own back in the final
Once Sunday's encounter with Liverpool gets under way, Aguero says he will approach it like he does any other match in an attempt to relax himself.
"I try to play a normal game, forget it is a final, and do not make any special plans," he said. "However, it is a funny one as sometimes the team that plays the worst in a final ends up winning.
"What it is all about is eliminating individual errors, ironing out mistakes as they can be costly in games. There is no forgiveness in finals like there can be in the league, you need to be 100 per cent focused and concentrated going into the game and do not make one little error that might cost us the final."
Aguero believes mental as well as physical preparation is key in the lead-up to big contests.
"How you prepare mentally can dictate how you are going to perform in the final," he said. "Focus on the game and the task in hand and what is in the head can dictate whether you win or lose or have a good game or not.
"You need to focus on what you have been doing well, give everything and leave everything out there as it is a final. Go in with a positive mental attitude to try and win the game, do not forget to try and enjoy it and almost get lost in the game, because sometimes nerves creep in and you can be a bit more anxious when going into a final."
The 27-year-old knows that City will face a tough examination against Jurgen Klopp's side at Wembley, especially in light of what happened the last time the teams met.
On that occasion in November, Liverpool beat City 4-1 in the Premier League, but Aguero hopes he and his team-mates will have learned lessons from that meeting at the Etihad.
"It is a final, so they will give everything they can," he said. "It is probably their best chance of a trophy and they will want to make their fans happy by giving their best performance.
"We expect a difficult game bearing in mind the defeat earlier in the season, but we will be going all out for some sort of revenge. They played well, but hopefully we have learnt from that and will get our own back in the final."
And Aguero recognises just how vital it is for City to get their hands on the season's first piece of silverware - as they also did two years ago under Manuel Pellegrini - especially after all the millions the club's UAE-based owners have spent on the team.
"It is very important to win Capital One Cup," he said.
"It is an important trophy for us, the club have invested a lot to win trophies and it will be marvellous to win it again."