Julián Álvarez had a dream year. In a few months, he went from the Argentinian football fields to the European ones, to end up shining on his World Cup debut with the Argentina team.
The 22-year-old played a key role in the Albiceleste performance, scoring one goal in the game against Poland and one against Australia in Qatar.
“You can see how he works with humility,” Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said in August of Álvarez before heading to Qatar. “He’s a boy who has things very clear and he’s going to contribute to his team and he’s going to contribute to us, and that’s good.”
Córdoba-born Álvarez is fulfilling a childhood dream of playing neck and neck with his childhood idol, Lionel Messi, with whom he made his debut and scored his first goal for Argentina in a draw 1-1 against Ecuador last March. year in a World Cup qualifier.
“Messi has been my idol since I was a kid,” he told Manchester City’s website ahead of his arrival. “He is my family’s idol, my brothers’ idol too. So Messi is a hero for me.”
“Playing for my country is a dream come true. As a child, I dreamed of playing for the national team with Messi. To have achieved this at the age of 22 obviously makes me very proud, happy and I must continue to have more success,” he said in statements quoted by FIFA.
Now in Qatar, he has played a key role on the pitch in leading Argentina to the quarter-finals – playing as a starter, either as a striker or as a centre-right, alongside the likes of Ángel Di María, Rodrígo de Paul , Nicolás Otamendi and Lionel Messi himself. .
The Cordoba striker was called up by Lionel Scaloni in 2021 and since then he has featured in four friendlies, six World Cup qualifiers and all four World Cup games so far.
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