Julian Alvarez and Lautaro Martinez are condemned to fight each other. First it was at the World Cup in Qatar. Both fought to obtain the starting center back position in the Argentine team that would later be champions. That duel was won by the first, while the second had the advantage.
Half a year later, they face each other again, but directly on the court. That little bit of revenge comes in Saturday’s Champions League final in Istanbul. On the one hand, ‘La Arana’ Alvarez, 23, with the colors of Manchester City, and on the other, ‘Toro’ Lautaro, 25, with Inter Milan.
“Before the World Cup I played with a painkiller injection in my ankle and couldn’t go to Qatar as I wanted. But a teammate (Julian Alvarez) came in who did better than me and I’m very happy. I gave it my all. Even from outside,” Martinez explained on the official Inter website after Qatar-2022.
In the ‘eleven type’ coach Lionel Scaloni had a streak of 36 games without defeat, with which the Albiceleste reached the World Cup, the Inter footballer was always there.
Lautaro Martínez played ninety minutes in the first defeat against Saudi Arabia (2–1) and also started against Mexico (2–0), but was replaced at game time by Julián Álvarez, who took over from that moment. Was handled
While Álvarez was performing well in the World Cup, Lautaro missed two big chances in the Round of 16 against Australia, where the City striker scored a goal on his debut in the third game (a 2–1 win). Group against Poland (2-0).
To those two goals, Julián Álvarez added two more in the semi-final against Croatia (3–0), for a total of four, Lautaro’s none in the tournament.
In this Champions League, both have scored three goals, although Julián Álvarez in fewer games than Lautaro, as the Inter striker has featured in twelve games, compared to ten for the City attacker.
Both have scored two goals with their right foot and one with their left, all on plays inside the area.
But Julián Álvarez has only played 468 minutes, as a substitute for the untouchable Erling Haaland, who leads the competition’s scorer table with twelve goals, while Lautaro Martínez, Inter’s starting striker, has played nearly twice that. 912 total, the tenth player to have been on the field for the most in the competition.
However, Lautaro, who had three assists to Julian Álvarez’s two in the Champions League, managed his three goals in 27 attempts, while the City striker managed them in fourteen shots, making 83.3% of his passes. There was a slightly lower figure for him. Inter player (74.84%).
In this year’s national championship, Lautaro, the starter, produced better statistics than his team-mate from Albiceleste, having played all 38 Serie A games with Inter, scoring 21 goals, while the City striker scored 31 in the Premier League. Participated in doubles, almost always as a substitute for Haaland, scored 9 goals.
City manager Pep Guardiola says of La Arena, “He always has the opportunity to score. In training, we see how effective he is, as well as how quick and intelligent he is in those moments.”
In the domestic cup, Julián Álvarez, where Guardiola, faithful to his custom, gave more opportunities to those considered substitutes, scored four goals in seven games, compared to three in five for Lautaro.
However, Lautaro scored both goals in the cup final as Inter beat Fiorentina (2–1).
Lautaro has won two titles this season with Inter, the Cup and the Super Cup, while Alvarez has won the Premiership and the FA Cup.
One of the two will join the historic list of 85 footballers who have already won the World Cup and the Champions League, something only two Argentines, Leo Messi and Ángel Di Maria, have achieved so far. There will be three from Saturday.