Alvarez targets World Cup title after meteoric rise

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  • Post published:December 17, 2022

Although Julian Alvarez was a bit player for Argentina at the World Cup, he has emerged as a key attacker as they gear up for Sunday’s championship game against France.

Only one of Argentina’s World Cup qualifying matches featured the young Manchester City forward, and he arrived in Qatar behind Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez.

The Copa America champions opened their campaign in Doha with a shocking 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia, and the 22-year-old substitute was unable to make an impact.

However, he may have missed his “sliding doors” opportunity.

Against the Saudis, Lautaro had two opportunities to score but was called offside both times.

Although Lionel Scaloni continued to play Lautaro in Argentina’s 2-0 victory over Mexico in game two, he opted to start Alvarez in the decisive match against Poland.

Midway through the second half, the forward known as “La Arana” (The Spider) scored the game-winning goal in a 2-0 victory over Poland.

In the round of 16, he scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Australia. Later, he caused the Netherlands plenty of trouble in the quarterfinals.

The raging forward earned a penalty in the semifinals, which Messi converted, and the team went on to defeat 2018 finalists Croatia 3-0.

Four goals in this tournament puts Alvarez one behind Messi and France’s Kylian Mbappe for the tournament’s top scorers.

“I’m happy on a personal level and for the group,” Alvarez said after the Croatia win. “We are happy with the way we are playing. We deserve to be in the final. That’s what we wanted.”

“At his age it is normal that he wants to conquer the world. He is a boy who will do whatever you say to him,” he said.

Photo by EPA/Noushad Thekkayil