The football community has been in awe of Argentina’s attacking spearhead and Man City’s deputy to Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez. The 23-year-old shone at his brightest at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, netting four times over the course of the tournament, including a brace in the semifinal. Alvarez was among the most vital cogs of Lionel Scaloni’s Albiceleste and has continued to flourish for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City despite getting limited minutes.
The Cordoba native signed for Man City on the deadline day of the 2021/22 winter transfer window after the latter had to battle it out with Catalan giants FC Barcelona. Alvarez continued his stay at the Estadio Màs Monumental for a loan period of six months before moving to Manchester in the summer of 2022.
Lately, however, a certain snap of a young Julian having a kick at the ball while sporting a Real Madrid kit is being thrown around Twitter. The picture has since deceived tons of fans online who believe that the Man City #19 has associations with Los Blancos, or more specifically, is a product of La Fabrica, the Real Madrid academy.
Keeping that in mind, we’re here with our magnifying glasses to take a closer look at the situation, and the career of Julian Alvarez up until his move to the blue side of Manchester.
Alvarez, the former River Plate talisman, joined the Los Millonarios senior team in the year 2018 under manager Marcelo Gallardo. He was a part of the River Plate youth setup for two years up until that point. Before joining the most successful football club in Argentina though, Alvarez spent his youth years as a part of Atletico Calchin, a small football club based in Cordoba.
It was in his youth days playing for Calchin, when an 11-year-old Julian was invited for a trial in Girona, Spain. Who invited the little boy? Ramon Martinez, the then sporting director of Real Madrid.
Though a Messi, and naturally FC Barcelona fanboy, Alvarez and his family grabbed the opportunity with both hands as the Argentine travelled to Spain to showcase his talent in front of the European royalty, Real Madrid. He played for the Madrid youth team in the Peralanda tournament, and scored two goals in the five matches Julian took part in.
Impressed and in awe of his talent, Madrid were quick to hand out a youth contract to the youngster. Unfortunately for Real, though, they were a year late.
A year prior to Julian’s trial for Madrid in 2011, FIFA, the supreme governing body in football, had brought changes to their regulations, which meant that players under the age of 16 were not allowed to move clubs without their parents. Madrid themselves had brought about a new regulation that restricted them from recruiting foreign talents below the age of 13.
Alvarez’s father, who worked for a cereal company, and his mother, who was a kindergarten teacher, were not in the condition that would’ve allowed them to move to Spain. Thus, the Alvarez family returned to Argentina.
Julian later went on to appear in trials for both Boca Juniors and River Plate before signing for the latter in 2015. The rest, as they say, is history.
Playing for one of the biggest clubs in Europe under the tutelage of one of the greatest managers of all time, paired with a world cup medal to his name at the age of 22, it’s safe to say that everything worked out pretty well for Alvarez in the end despite failing to join Real Madrid at the age of 11.
Prophesied to be the heir to Kun Aguero, the former River Plate man has more often than not seen minutes off the bench, playing second fiddle to a Norwegian beast, something which has been an area of concern for the City supporters.
Though Alvarez recently renewed his contract with the Cityzens, pundits deem him “too good” and find it hard to believe that the Argentine ace would prefer starring in a backup role at the Etihad for an extended period. Given the unreasonably increasing demand for strikers in the transfer market, it remains to be seen what the future holds for Julian Alvarez.