Lionel Messi is a source of inspiration to millions around the world, with Manchester City new boy Julian Alvarez among those looking to take as many important lessons as possible from the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner. Alvarez is in the fortunate position of playing alongside Messi for Argentina, while Pep Guardiola is his manager at club level and Sergio Aguero is on hand to offer words of advice when required.
Alvarez could not wish for a better group of mentors, but he is not looking to “copy” the efforts of those that have gone before him, and instead admits that trying to emulate “unique” Messi would be a thankless task.
What makes Lionel Messi so special?
Quizzed by Sky Sports on what it is like to play alongside an all-time great and whether it is possible to follow in his footsteps, Alvarez said: “It was a dream come true to play by his side and a great source of pride to play with one of the greatest footballers in the history of the game, I have to say.
“It is hard to copy him. But like everyone who is around him, I watch his every move, watch every little piece of skill, and I try to take the best from it. But the truth is that he is unique, not just on the pitch but off it as well.”
Who is advising Alvarez at Man City?
The highly-rated youngster has made a positive early impression with the reigning Premier League champions, scoring his first goal for the club in the Community Shield, and has been in regular contact with City legend Aguero regarding what it takes to be a success at the Etihad Stadium.
“Sergio told me some things about what it is like to work under Pep," he said. "He told me about how the training is run at City. He told me about the city of Manchester itself. I spoke to him at the time of my signing and again during the last few days and weeks as well.
“He has given me all kinds of different advice, all of which I obviously listened to very carefully with this being a new world for me moving to Manchester. I wanted to listen to everything Sergio said so that I could adapt as quickly as possible to life in England.”
Can Alvarez play alongside Haaland for Man City?
City have prised Alvarez away from River Plate with one eye on the future, having also splashed out £51 million ($61m) on Erling Haaland this summer, but the South American prospect believes that he can work in tandem with the big-name Norway star.
He said of joining forces with Haaland: “He is a big player, a great player. I have seen him a lot, scoring goals throughout Europe. It is very good for a young player like me to play with the best so you can learn. It is a good position to be in. Whoever I am paired with, the important thing is that City win.”