Aguero says he feels 'like new' ahead of World Cup

Buenos Aires (AFP) –


Argentina striker Sergio Aguero said on Thursday that he feels "like new" and is ready to play his "best World Cup" in Russia despite struggling in recent months with a knee injury.

The 29-year-old hasn't played for Manchester City since their Champions League quarter-final defeat by Liverpool on April 10, and Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has a host of attacking options to choose from before naming his World Cup squad.

"My knee is like new, I've always had problems... But now I feel different, I can bend it and it's a relief," he told Argentinian TV channel TyC.

Aguero has played 84 times since making his international debut in 2006, scoring 36 goals, but faces strong competition for a place in Sampaoli's starting XI.

With Lionel Messi a shoe-in for the team, Aguero will need to stave off challenges from Juventus pair Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala, Roma striker Diego Perotti and Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi.

But, having never scored in eight previous World Cup matches, Aguero insisted that he is preparing for his "best World Cup".

Two-time world champions Argentina have been handed a tough draw alongside Croatia, Nigeria and Iceland in Group D, with their opening match against the Scandinavian debutants in Moscow on June 16.