12 years ago, ‘little boy’ Julian Alvarez asked to take a photo with legendary Lionel Messi, and it was surprising that now he and his idol created a miracle in the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup.
In the early morning of December 14, 2022, Argentina had a dream quarter-final match with a big 3-0 win over Croatia to win a ticket to the 2022 World Cup final. Julian Alvarez and Lionel Messi had an excellent match. , this duo participated in all 3 goals of the match.
Julian Alvarez and Lionel Messi
In the 32nd minute, Alvarez escaped into the penalty area and was fouled by goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, earning a penalty so captain Lionel Messi opened the score for Argentina. Seven minutes later, the 22-year-old striker dribbled from the middle of the field into the penalty area and doubled the gap. Messi ran to hug and congratulate Alvarez. In the 69th minute, Messi dribbled past midfielder Josko Gvardiol to pass to make room for Alvarez to cushion the ball from close range, sealing a 3-0 victory, making Argentina one of two teams with a chance to become World champions. Cup 2022.
In particular, Alvarez’s 69th minute goal was his fourth goal at the 2022 World Cup, but the first goal directly assisted by Messi. The 22-year-old striker ran to thank his captain, and they hugged each other again to celebrate their place in the final. Right after the match ended, social media ‘exploded’ the moment Alvarez stood next to Messi 10 years ago and right in this semi-final match. On the ESPNFC website alone, the ‘then – now’ photo of two Argentinian players attracted hundreds of thousands of interactions.
The ‘then – now’ images of Messi and Alvarez caused a fever on social networks.
Talking about the fate of the photo of Alvarez standing next to Messi 12 years ago, Alvarez said he knew about football when he was over three years old. When he was five years old, Messi played his first match for Argentina. The striker born in 2000 has idolized M10 ever since. Alvarez’s house is filled with photos of Messi. In 2011 at the Copa America tournament, Alvarez, then an 12-year-old boy, left his hometown in Calchin town and went to Cordoba city, a distance of 123 km. He wanted to go see Argentina meet Costa Rica in the final round of the group stage, and another purpose was to take pictures with his idol Messi.
Alvarez’s wish came true and a photo of Alvarez standing next to Messi 12 years ago was born. Unexpectedly, 12 years later, this ‘kid’ has made efforts to help his idol – Messi conquer the dream of the 2022 World Cup.
Alvarez followed the ball while his family prevented him. His mother, Mariana, cried her eyes out when her 7-year-old son decided to become a professional football player instead of following his parents’ career.
Alvarez also could not imagine that one day he would stand on the same field with his idol.
At the age of 11, Real Madrid was interested in Alvarez and wanted to recruit him. But at that time he was not old enough to sign a contract, and if he wanted to, he had to wait until he was 18 years old. In the end, the striker couldn’t wait and joined River Plate. There, he scored 22 goals in 45 matches in all competitions in 2021, and was awarded the Outstanding Player of the Year award in South American football – a title previously awarded to Pele, Diego Maradona or Neymar.
Then in January 2022, when Alvarez turned 22 years old, he signed a contract with Man City until the summer of 2027. Although he mainly plays a backup role for Erling Haaland, Alvarez still often impresses every time he plays. main. Through 20 matches for Man City this season, he scored seven goals. Alvarez also went to the 2022 World Cup as a substitute for senior Lautaro Martinez. However, after his first two starting matches were disappointing, Martinez had to make room for Alvarez, and since then ‘number 9’ has been playing explosively.
If Messi has painful memories of the Argentine team’s strikers, then Julian Alvarez’s brilliant performance with 4 goals helped dispel some concerns about the striker position of ‘La Albiceleste’. Alvarez has been Messi’s ‘hard friend’ since coach Lionel Scaloni was appointed head coach of the Argentina team.
He had 4 goals in 6 appearances for Argentina and became coach Lionel Scaloni’s number one choice in attack. He also became the second Argentine player under 22 years old to score 4 goals in a World Cup after Gonzalo Higuain (World Cup 2010 – 4 goals). With this performance, Alvarez has a great opportunity to continue to play in the 2022 World Cup final on December 18. And it’s not wrong to say that Alvarez is living his dream when he can play alongside Messi and shine with his idol.
It wasn’t until later, when interviewed by Flash Sport, that Alvarez revealed: ‘Playing football with Messi is the best. When I was a child, I always dreamed of that. He is the role model of world football.’ , is also the best player. Messi also lives very simply and humbly, helping us learn many things.’