The trophy of Champions League will once again touch the hands of an Argentinian footballer on June 10 at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, where Manchester City AND Inter They will play the final of the competition. The applicants for this privilege are Giuliano Alvarez AND Lautaro Martineztwo men who a few months ago fought for a place in the attack of the Argentine national team and celebrated the title in the Qatar World Cup.
Fair competition and uncompromising camaraderie were the principles that forged the bond between the two international strikers during the Cup, in which Martínez started and second top scorer of the season. Lionel Scaloni (he had converted 21 in 39 games, second only to Lionel Messi -33 until then-). However, Álvarez took the position After the duel with Poland, he did not abandon it and contributed four goals on the way to consecration.
Lautaro himself was one of those who most appreciated Julian’s work. “His income could give the team what I couldn’t,” he acknowledged more than once after the championship. That noble dispute for office will be recycled, six months later, in a sporting battle for the title of Champions League. Whoever finishes victorious in Istanbul will also become the 12th man to win the World Cup and Europe’s top club tournament in the same season.
The Germans Sepp Maier, Paul Breitner, Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck, Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Müller, Uli Hoeness and Jupp Kapellmann won the World Cup in their country in 1974 and the old European Cup. Already at the time of the renewed Champions League, four Real Madrid players have succeeded: the French Christian Karembeu in 1998, the Brazilian Roberto Carlos in 2002, the Teutonic Sami Khedira in 2014 and the French Raphaël Varane in 2018. Álvarez will join them or Martinez.
As at the World Cup in Qatar, the participation of both clubs this season has been very different, although in both cases the balance will be positive at the end of the tour, regardless of the result obtained in the Champions League final in 24 days.
At the age of 25 and five years after his arrival in Milan, the Bull he is very rooted in an Inter who had a meager job in Serie A and could not keep up with Napoli, but won the Supercoppa Italiana against Milan in Riyadh in January, will play the Coppa Italia final next Wednesday against Fiorentina at ‘Olimpico in Rome and on Tuesday he obtained the ticket for his sixth major continental definition (he was champion in 1964, 1965 and 2010).
The man from Bahía is the undisputed starter in the Nerazzurri attack and has also been captain a dozen times this season, in which he has scored 25 goals (he has already equaled his personal best, achieved in 2021/22). After a run of eight consecutive defeats without scoring between March and April, today he is in a state of grace: he has scored six goals in his last five Serie A games and scored decisive goals in his last two Champions League qualifying matches. That transformation against Milan on Tuesday was his 99th with an Inter shirt.
“I am proud of all the work I am doing together with my colleagues. And wearing this club’s ribbon in these cases is a reward,” the former Racing player underlined after reaching the final. “Lautaro is making an extraordinary journey. We appreciate him, he’s a point of reference for us. He’s happy here, he found his home, his family”. Javier Zanetticlub vice president and captain of the last Inter team to win the Champions League.
Julián Álvarez’s European experience was shorter, but no less intense. The Cordoban arrived in the Old Continent less than a year ago, after the explosion at the River, and in recent months he has completed a supersonic post-graduate course in an ultra-demanding team with superlative performances: City can secure the Scudetto this weekend (the fifth in the last six seasons), on June 3 he will define the FA Cup with Manchester United at Wembley and a week later he will try to lift the Champions League for the first time.
The striker born 23 years ago in Calchín has adapted very well to a secondary role in a team that has a stellar soloist in his place: the Norwegian Erling Haaland, a record spiker (he has 52 goals in 49 games this season). Many times he had to wait his turn on the bench, although in recent weeks Josep Guardiola has also used him in a three-man attack line behind the Scandinavian giant.
Making the most of his time in the field, the Spider he signed 16 goals in 45 games. A full taste of that use of chances was given this Wednesday: just 101 seconds elapsed from the moment he crossed the touchline to replace Haaland until his right-footed touch became City’s fourth goal against Real Madrid, the one that closed the blow at the Etihad Stadium.
Almost inexorably, Álvarez and company will be looking to clinch the Premier League title on Sunday when they welcome Chelsea under the guidance of another world champion, Enzo Fernández. They can also do so without playing on Saturday if Arsenal lose to Nottingham Forest. Almost certainly, that will be Cordovan’s first crowning with a team that is already making history.
Jason Root is the go-to source for sports coverage at News Rebeat. With a passion for athletics and an in-depth knowledge of the latest sports trends, Jason provides comprehensive and engaging analysis of the world of sports.