Interviews

Messi ‘one of a kind’, says Alvarez

Manchester City star Julian Alvarez has hailed Argentina team-mate Lionel Messi as ‘one of a kind’ as the pair look to inspire their country to glory at the Qatar World Cup finals.

The 35-year-old is widely regarded as one of the best-ever players to grace the game, a statement that Alvarez is in full agreement with.

The City striker has got to know the Paris Saint-German forward on a personal level, sharing a dressing room with Messi on international camps since making his Argentina debut last year.

Alvarez has so far represented his country 12 times, scoring three goals against, Ecuador, Jamaica and the United Arab Emirates respectively.

WORLD CUP 2022 | CITY PLAYERS AND THEIR FIXTURES

And the City youngster says it is a privilege having Messi as an international colleague and a dream come true to play alongside his footballing idol.

“For me, Messi is always at his best. Even when he is not he is still the best, because of what he can do. It’s magnificent,” Alvarez told City TV.

“He is one of a kind.

“Obviously, having him in the team is a privilege and I’ll help him and the whole team bring joy to Argentina.

“He leads the group in a great way and this was reflected before the final [of the Copa America]. He said some amazing words.

“Being there you realise that he is a really normal person, he is a great person and a great captain."

Alvarez is heading to the World Cup finals for the first time in his career, as he looks to help the Argentines secure their third win in the competition.

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La Albiceleste last won the tournament in 1986 after a 3-2 victory over West Germany in Mexico, and are one of the favourites having gone 36 games unbeaten.

And La Araña says the mood in the camp is one of quiet optimism.

He added: “We are in a great moment where we are not losing games, the team is good and solid, but a World Cup is really hard.

“Obviously we will try to give our best as we always do. But like I said, it is a World Cup and any match you could get knocked out.

“I am feeling very good, I am playing a lot of minutes and I hope to arrive in my best form.

“Everybody has helped me and slowly I’ve kept improving. I was always patient and in the last games I have played more minutes.

“I think that’s the result of hard work and we need to keep doing it this way.”

Play the video to watch Julian's interview in full...

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