After spending almost £700 million (S$1.47 billion) over six years signing footballers, Manchester City are finally ready to begin their era of domination.
This was the warning that striker Sergio Aguero sent out to the rest of English football just days after the club had landed a second Premier League title in three seasons.
"As long as we keep doing what we've been doing, I believe that we can continue to perform at this level," he told The Straits Times yesterday.
Nicknamed "Kun" after a cartoon character from his childhood, the Argentina international struck 17 league goals this term to help City reclaim the crown from neighbours Manchester United.
It made up for the meek surrender of their 2011-12 title in a campaign which saw them finish 11 points adrift of the Red Devils.
Aguero believes that his side's strong start to the season, when they won five of their opening fixtures under new manager Manuel Pellegrini, had a big part to play.
This was especially when they found themselves trailing leaders Liverpool by nine points with just five matches left.
"It all got a little bit complicated near the end," the former Atletico Madrid man, 25, said in Spanish through an interpreter.
"But we managed to get the result we wanted and we're happy about that."
Aguero admits that City have to improve their away form - five of their six league defeats this season came on the road - if they are to take the next step towards domination in England and Europe.
"The Champions League is one of our main priorities," he pointed out.
"And it's important that we get better results when playing away from home.
"I'm sure that is something the manager will focus a lot on in the coming season."
City's No. 16 was speaking on the sidelines of the SG Game On! challenge - a two-day event jointly organised by SingTel and Samsung which pitted him against Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand.
Ferdinand ultimately emerged victorious but not before being bested by Aguero as the pair turned coaches in a match between students of the Association for Persons with Special Needs Tanglin School.
Said Yuen Kuan Moon, chairman of SingTel's Touching Lives Fund: "We wanted to ensure that nobody in our community missed out.
"We gave plenty of opportunities for the public to meet the players (and) wanted to give our beneficiaries a chance to be part of the fun."
But the time for fun and games is now over for Aguero, who will return to Argentina today to prepare for next month's World Cup in Brazil.
There, Lionel Messi and Co will be looking to improve on their 2010 outing.
Then, at the quarter-finals, they were demolished 4-0 by Germany.
"For now, our focus is on the three group stage matches," Aguero said of Argentina's Group F dates against Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria.
"But we have a very good team this time and are expecting to do better than we did in 2010.
"Certainly, we won't be making the same mistakes as before."
This article was published on May 17 in The Straits Times.
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