- Premier League
Aguero inspired by Messi to aim for Ballon d'Or
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is aiming to emulate compatriot Lionel Messi and one day win the Ballon d'Or.
Barcelona forward Messi was named the footballer of the year for the fourth time in succession on Monday evening, recognition of another stellar year for the man generally regarded as the best player in the world.
Aguero has no doubts that his Argentina team-mate deserves all the accolades bestowed upon him - but hopes he can go on to garner some individual recognition of his own over the next few years.
"The Ballon d'Or is always going to go to Leo because of all that he has done for Barcelona and even the Argentinian national team," Aguero said. "And he deserves it.
"I know it would be difficult for me to win the Ballon d'Or one day, but I do know that if I work hard, maybe someday I will win it.
"I hope so. Every footballer dream about being the best footballer in the world.
"The dreams are always the same ones - to win a World Cup, the Champions League and to become the best footballer in the world. I would be so happy if one day I could win the Ballon d'Or."
Aguero went on to hit back at critics of City's big spending policies and insists they are one of many clubs adopting a policy that accounts to buying a quick route to success through lavish spending.
"Some people say this team was built only through money, as if other clubs were not," he stated. "I want to be clear, only Barcelona have footballers from their youth system. The rest of the top clubs, including us, don't do that."
Meanwhile, Aguero insists City are still firmly in the race to reclaim their Premier League title, even though they are seven points behind neighbours United heading into the second half of the campaign.
"Man City are fine," he added. "We are not playing as well as we did last season, but we are winning the matches anyway. We have the team, you know, so we definitely can play as we did last season.
"You have to think that this season we have had many important players injured - [Samir] Nasri, [David] Silva, [Vincent] Kompany, [Gael] Clichy, [Micah] Richards, and myself. There are no excuses, this is the truth, but we never give up.
"Sometimes I think people don't value what we have done. We are the Premier League champions. We won the title even when United were ahead of us by lots of points.
"We never give up and we fight until the end."