DOHA ( Associated Press) – Nothing seems to be going on for young Argentina striker Julian Alvarez.
It could be Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Manchester City’s Etihad or 974 in Doha. A Copa Libertadores final, a Champions League duel or a match that defines their team’s fate in the World Cup. There is no scenario or responsibility that would challenge the twenty-something striker.
At the age of 22, Álvarez started at the World Cup for the first time and scored a goal for Argentina in a 2–0 victory over Poland, which defined the South Americans’ classification at the round of 16. And he could do so again in that instance against Australia on Saturday.
The attacker’s mission was to replace striker Lautaro Martínez, an untouchable in Lionel Scaloni’s starting eleven and the second scorer of his cycle behind Lionel Messi. But the “Bulls” did not play well in the first two matches of the group round, and in a competition with little room for patience, the coach sent his substitute on the field.
“Spider” is not a classic box striker. He likes to play late and participate in game development. You can share the onslaught with 9 more classics, like Erling Haaland in “Citizens.” Or be the leader for Argentina in attack shared with Lionel Messi and Ángel Di María.
Alvarez signed off on a spectacular previous play with 27 touches of the ball. After an assist from Enzo Fernández, one of Argentina’s surprise rookies, the striker defined the angle.
“Every day things come to your mind,” he reflected in later contact with the press. “This moment is something unforgettable.”
Alvarez was born on January 31, 2000, in Calchin, a small town in the province of Córdoba in central Argentina.
“I remember a goal when I was eight or nine years old, having dribbled four or five opponents and scored the Rabona goal,” recalled his first coach at Atlético Calchin, Rafael Varas, on the official Manchester City site. . “That’s when I realized we had a different kind of player, who could be a world star.”
At the age of 12 he traveled to Spain and tried out in Madrid. His signature was truncated due to the policies on signing minors in force there.
The player ended up at the River Plate youth academy and trained as a professional under multi-champion coach Marcelo Gallardo, who made his debut in October 2018. In December of the same year, Álvarez played a few minutes in the final of the historic final of the Copa Libertadores as River Plate won 3–1 against their classic rivals Boca Juniors at the Madrid Stadium.
With 20 goals in 35 games, he attracted the attention of Pep Guardiola, who requested signings to improve City’s offence, which included Haaland. The English team disbursed around $25 million to the Argentines.
He made his official debut with a goal in a 3–1 defeat against Liverpool in the final of the national cup. And in his first match as a starter in the Champions League, he celebrated just before his World Cup call-up.
“Good people don’t need time, good people adapt quickly. Soccer is universal. He who knows how to play, knows how to play”, Guardiola highlighted.
Argentina enjoys it too.