Julian Alvarez is Messi’s World Cup sidekick

Julián Alvarez season has been enlightening. lvarez learned from Erling Haaland at Manchester City and Lionel Messi during the World Cup. He’s a want-to-be. Both starters scored. The 22-year-old lvarez once scored six goals in a Copa Libertadores match. At the World Cup, he’s living out his goal of playing alongside Messi in front of raucous supporters. lvarez called Argentina’s 2-1 round-of-16 win over Australia “a big thrill.”

Julian Alvarez is Messi’s World Cup sidekick

lvarez has benefited from Lautaro Martnez’s inability to start for Argentina. The two players’ different forms were obvious versus Australia. Thus, Martinez missed two huge chances as a substitute, but lvarez scored with his one legitimate chance. Therefore, the goal summed up his playstyle and why Argentina’s fans love him so much.

Alvarez’s lethal finishing and persistent work ethic were shown as he closed down Mathew Ryan as the Australia goalie dallied on the ball. Ryan took a strong second touch under pressure from Argentina’s Rodrigo De Paul, and lvarez stole the ball and shot on the turn into an unguarded net. His first World Cup goal was a curling shot into the top corner after a 25-pass sequence.

Tap-ins, curlers, link-ups, pushing. It’s no wonder City boss Pep Guardiola made lvarez the second striker in his squad to Haaland. Also, Guardiola was glad to offload Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling in the winter. lvarez and Jesus never let defenders relax. lvarez is a far more natural finisher than lvarez.

Martinez lacks calmness in front of the goal. Messi’s wayward finish over the crossbar in stoppage time kept Australia alive in an entertaining match at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium that ended with a stunning save by Argentina goalkeeper Emi Martinez. Also, Lautaro Martinez may have been demonized if that passed. After the match, Argentina fans criticized him on social media and on Doha’s metros.

Julian Alvarez is Messi's World Cup sidekick

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