Julian Alvarez declared he has already achieved one childhood dream in playing alongside Lionel Messi for Argentina, as Manchester City’s new signing targets a spot at the World Cup in Qatar.
Alvarez agreed to join Pep Guardiola’s River Plate club for £ 14 million ($ 18.8m) in January but remained on loan with the Buenos Aires giants until the Copa Libertadores left Velez Sarsfield on Thursday.
On Friday, Premier League champions confirmed that Alvarez will face their first team ahead of the 2022-23 season, scoring 54 goals in 122 appearances since joining the River youth program.
Having won his country nine games, Alvarez is ready to appear at the World Cup later this year and scored his first goal for Argentina when he appeared with Messi in a 1-1 draw with Ecuador in March.
Alvarez will face competition from Lautaro Martinez and Paulo Dybala to launch the Albiceleste of Qatar, where the young City boy wants to build on his international success.
“Messi has been my idol since I was a child,” he told the City website before his arrival. “He is our idol, the idol of our brothers and sisters. So Messi is a hero to me.
“Playing for my country is my dream, I dreamed of playing for the national team with Messi.
“Achieving this at the age of 22 obviously makes me feel very proud, happy, and I should continue to be very successful.”
Messi is the most capped player in Argentina (162 games) and scoring goals (86), and will join the likes of Lothar Matthaus, Rafael Marquez, Antonio Carbajal and Gianluigi Buffon in five World Cup appearances from Qatar. .