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Julián Álvarez, the hero of the Argentina team that will play the Qatar 2022 final

2022-12-18T16:52:36.280Z


Julián Álvarez has had a dream year. He passed in a short time from Argentine soccer to the European fields, and ended up shining in his debut in the soccer world cup with the Argentine team together with his childhood idol, Lionel Messi. 


Argentina to the final!

Summary of their victory over Croatia 2:39

(CNN Spanish) --

Julián Álvarez has had a dream year.

In a few months he went from the Argentine soccer fields to the European ones, to end up shining in his debut in the soccer World Cup with the Argentine team, with which he has scored four goals up to the semifinal.

He has been key in the performance of the Albiceleste, and it is likely that on Sunday, December 18, he will start in the grand final.

Álvarez, 22, has seven goals for Argentina in 18 games and was recently key in the victories against Poland and Australia in Qatar, in which he scored a goal in each game.

But he was, without a doubt, the cornerstone in what is Argentina's best match in the World Cup so far: the 3-0 against Croatia.

Lionel Messi opened the scoring in this semifinal from the penalty spot at 34 minutes, as a result of a foul by goalkeeper Livakovic on him from Álvarez.

Five minutes later, Álvarez faced almost the entire Croatian defense and himself defined a play that is an outburst of calculating, defensive, parsimonious football.

Already in the second half, Álvarez only pushed an assist from Lionel Messi in all his splendor and thus the move to the final was resolved.

Lionel Messi celebrates Julián Álvarez's goal in Argentina's 3-0 win over Croatia in the Qatar 2022 semi-final. Credit: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

"I'm happy personally and for the group," said Álvarez after the victory in the semifinal.

"We have to rest, we hope to play a great game on Sunday. Calchin (his hometown), like the whole country, must be going crazy. We are happy with what we achieved and we are going for more."

"Julián's game is very good, not only because he scored two goals but because he gave us a tremendous hand to cover up the three midfielders they had on the field," coach Lionel Scaloni said at the press conference after the win against Croatia .

"He has an incredible deployment (...) He is a boy who does what you tell him, and we are happy because he can capture his work on the network," he added.

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From admiring Messi to being part of his team

The man from Cordoba —who plays as a center forward, right winger, midfielder and left winger— fulfills a childhood dream: to play side by side with his childhood idol, Lionel Messi, with whom he made his debut and scored his first goal for Argentina in the 1-1 draw with Ecuador in March this year in a World Cup qualifying match.

"Messi has been my idol since I was a child," he told Manchester City's website before his arrival.

“He is the idol of my family, the idol of my brothers too.

So Messi is a hero for me."

“Playing for my country is a dream come true.

As a child he dreamed of playing for the national team with Messi.

Having achieved this at the age of 22 obviously makes me very proud, happy and I have to keep going to be more successful," he said in a statement cited by FIFA.

Now, in Qatar, he was key on the pitch to lead Argentina to the final, playing as a starter, either as a striker or center-right, along with figures like Ángel Di María, Rodrígo de Paul, Nicolás Otamendi and the glorious number 10.

Argentine forward #09 Julian Alvarez (L) celebrates with his Argentine forward #10 Lionel Messi after scoring his team's second goal during the World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 soccer match between Argentina and Australia at the Estadio Ahmad Bin Ali in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on December 3, 2022. (Credit: Alfredo ESTRELLA/AFP)

From goalscorer in Argentina to European football

Julián Álvarez is a native of Calchín, a small town in the province of Córdoba, Argentina, with just about 2,500 inhabitants, where he was born in 2000. But it was very close to there, some 110 km away, where Álvarez began his soccer career. in Córdoba at Club Atlético Atalaya in 2016, and soon reached the lower divisions of River Plate, in the Argentine capital.

Two years later, in October 2018, Álvarez made his debut with the River Plate first team against Aldosivi, at the Monumental Stadium.

With River he quickly gained a reputation as one of the best attackers of the team and, why not, of the country: in 2021, after winning three titles and being a scorer in the last Professional League of the year, in which River was champion, the newspaper El País de Uruguay named him the Best Player in the Americas that year.

Julián Álvarez of River Plate celebrates after scoring his team's sixth goal during the Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2022 match between River Plate and Alianza Lima at Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti on May 25, 2022 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

(Credit: Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

During his time with the Argentina Under 23 and Under 20 national teams in 2019, Álvarez scored five goals in one year.

The Argentine helped lead River Plate to the Argentine league title in November 2021 with 18 goals.

He made his international debut in 2021, being part of the Argentine team that won the Copa América in July of that year.

Since then he has been one of the best young attackers in Argentina: with River Plate he played 122 games in which he scored 54 goals and had 31 assists, a record that earned him his move to European football in January of this year.

Arrival at Manchester City

Julian Alvarez of Manchester City beats Issa Diop of Fulham during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Fulham FC at Etihad Stadium on November 05, 2022 in Manchester, England.

(Credit: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

English Manchester City signed Julián Álvarez on January 30, paying a release clause for the Argentine striker, who did not move to England until July, as he signed a loan contract with River until the end of the tournament in the middle of the year.

Argentine newspaper Olé, quoted by Reuters, reported at the time that Manchester City paid River Plate US$26 million for Álvarez, making it the club's most expensive sale since Javier Saviola's move to FC Barcelona in 2001. .

Álvarez finally arrived at Manchester City in July of this year and in a few months he has accumulated 20 games, with seven goals and two assists, according to TransferMarkt figures.

“This is, without a doubt, one of the great teams in the world of football.

You only need to see what the team has won over the last decade to understand the quality of everything that makes it up," Álvarez was quoted as saying on the club's website, adding that he is "motivated" by Pep Guardiola's style. .

"I want to leave my mark on the Club in the same way that Sergio Agüero, Pablo Zabaleta or Carlos Tévez did," he added, thanking River Plate for the start of his career.

Álvarez's performance in the World Cup

They have played six games in Qatar and the Albiceleste only has one more to go: the final.

His entry into the team was essential to change the face of Argentina after the surprise defeat against Saudi Arabia in the group stage.

He has scored four goals and so far has a passing effectiveness of 76%, according to Data Factory.

Discover more information about Julián Álvarez in Qatar 2022 below:

Julián ÁlvarezWorld Cup Qatar 2022

Source: cnnespanol

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