Scorer of the goal that closed Manchester City’s historic 4-0 victory over Real Madrid yesterday (17th), striker Julián Álvarez is one match away from putting his name in a space where there is no one else in the history of football.
At just 23 years old and in his first season in European football, Julián could be the first Argentine ever to win the Champions League, World Cup and Libertadores.
Julián was part of the Argentine national team in the last World Cup, held in Qatar, repeating what he had done both in the 2021 Copa América and in the Uefa-Conmebol Final, against Italy, in Wembley, in 2022.
For River Plate, he was the starter in the Libertadores decision against Boca Juniors in 2018, at the Santiago Bernabéu, in Madrid, at just 18 years old.
Neither Messi nor Maradona
The comparison with the two Argentine geniuses slides into a natural limitation of the duo: both Messi and Maradona have never disputed the Libertadores of America.
Maradona was also not champion of the Champions League, a competition that Messi won for Barcelona in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2015.
From the Argentine national team last year, Ángel Di María also has a Champions title, with Real Madrid, in 2014, but he also never played in the Libertadores.
Lautaro Martínez, Julián’s opponent in this year’s Champions League final, did not win the Libertadores. He also played in the 2018 edition, for Racing, but was transferred to Inter-ITA during the competition.
To date, only three Argentines have won the Libertadores and Champions League: Juan Pablo Sorín (River and Juventus, both in 1996), Carlos Tevez (Boca in 2003 and Manchester United in 2008) and Walter Samuel (Boca in 2000 and Inter Milan in 2010).
None, however, won titles with the senior team.
Samuel was coach Lionel Scaloni’s assistant at last year’s World Cup, and Tevez won Olympic gold at Athens-2004.
Three Brazilians have won, as Álvarez can now, the World Cup, Copa America, Champions League and Libertadores titles: Dida, Cafu and Ronaldinho Gaúcho.
The trio was part of the Brazilian team that won the 1999 Copa América and the 2002 World Cup. Dida won the Libertadores with Cruzeiro in 1997 and the Champions League with Milan in 2003 and 2007.
Cafu was also in both of Milan’s titles and won the Libertadores with São Paulo in 1992 and 1993.
Ronaldinho’s Libertadores was the 2013, with Atlético-MG; his Champions was the 2006, with Barcelona.
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