Man City's Alvarez says Messi 'dream' already accomplished after making Argentina breakthrough

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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 side from River Plate in a reported £14million ($18.8m) move in January but remained on loan with the Buenos Aires giants until their Copa Libertadores exit to Velez Sarsfield on Thursday.

On Friday, the Premier League champions confirmed Alvarez would join up with their first team ahead of the 2022-23 season, having scored 54 goals in 122 outings since coming through River's youth system.

Having also won nine caps for his country, Alvarez is primed to appear at the World Cup later this year and scored his first Argentina goal when appearing alongside Messi in a 1-1 draw with Ecuador in March.

Alvarez will face competition from the likes of Lautaro Martinez and Paulo Dybala to start for the Albiceleste in Qatar, where the City new boy wants to build on his international breakthrough.

"Messi has been my idol since I was a child," he told City's website ahead of his arrival. "He is my family's idol, the idol of my brothers too. So, Messi is a hero for me.

"Playing for my country is a dream come true. I dreamed as a child to play in the national team with Messi.

"To have achieved this at the age of 22 obviously makes me feel very proud, happy, and I have to keep going for more success."

Messi is both Argentina's most-capped player (162 appearances) and record goalscorer (86), and will join the likes of Lothar Matthaus, Rafael Marquez, Antonio Carbajal and Gianluigi Buffon in playing at five separate World Cups with an appearance in Qatar.

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