The use of the word ‘impact’ is prevalent in sports. A professional athlete is often judged on the impact they create rather than their statistics and numbers. Former Manchester City player Sergio Aguero knows a thing or two about that word. After all, he guided his club to the summit of the Premier League in his very first season and left a legend a decade later. The impact? The club decided to pay him a tribute through his official jersey for the upcoming 2021/22 season.
The official kit partners of the English club, PUMA, dedicated the new jersey to Aguero’s last-gasp, title-winning goal in the 2011/12 season by engraving “93:20” on their jersey. That was the mark on the clock when the striker scored City’s third goal in their final EPL game against Queens Park Rangers (QPR) to not only win the match and deny arch-rivals Manchester United the triumph but also bring home their first-ever Premier League title. Irrespective of what would have happened after that, Aguero had sealed a special place in the history of the club.
The man behind City’s special new jersey is Ulrich Planer, who is a senior graphic designer for all apparel at PUMA Teamsport. In a chat with the Hindustan Times, Ulrich revealed the thought process behind the idea and how it came to be.
“(During the process of designing a jersey), we always start with overall themes that connect all jerseys through the same overall themes. For the home jerseys in 2021, it was celebrating past magic moments. BVB, Marseille, Gladbach, or Milan have a similar link to historic moments. Some more obvious, some more subtle,” said Planer, who has also worked for clubs like Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund.
The tribute couldn’t have come at a better time as it commemorates the 10th anniversary of a historic moment for the club. “When starting the research for City, we very soon decided on celebrating the 10th anniversary of the famous 2011/12 season. As this victory was such a game-changer for the club, there was no doubt about it. It feels like, there was a time before 2011/12 and after. City has won a lot of titles since then,” said Planer.
When asked about the make of this jersey and how it is different from the rest, Planer explained: “On this year’s home jersey, we wanted to make a very CITY-looking jersey. In the first season, we have introduced a completely different secondary color with purple. Last season a bold-looking all-overprint. The new jersey looks very pure. Subtle graphic and white pop colors. Tradition with a tiny uniqueness celebrating a magic moment for the club. From a distance, it is a true City jersey, with no gimmicks”
Aguero eventually played 275 games for the club, scoring 184 goals and registering 47 assists. During his decade-long association with the club, he lifted the EPL title five times. Apart from that he also won six EFL Cup titles and two FA Cup titles.
After a glorious decade laced with goals and glory, the Argentine joined Barcelona, where he will share the dressing room with his compatriot Lionel Messi.