Claudio Echeverri: Argentina's 'next Lionel Messi' destined for superstardom at Man City

In the modern age of social media, budding young footballers have the opportunity to make a name for themselves well before breaking into the professional game, with spectacular goals or moments of individual brilliance often caught on camera. Claudio Echeverri, for example, became a viral sensation at just 11 years of age while competing for a River Plate youth team in the 2017 Venice Champions Trophy - a seven-a-side tournament that also included Atletico Madrid, Ajax, Juventus and Chelsea.

Echeverri scored nine goals in six appearances as the Millonarios finished third, with four of those coming in a superb display against Juve, but he was far from satisfied. “The truth is that we aren’t happy because we wanted to win the tournament,” the youngster told reporters after his team's exit.

That will to win has since helped set Echeverri apart from other promising players in his orbit, and he is now set to complete a dream move to the Premier League, despite only turning 18 on January 2. Manchester City announced on Thursday that they have reached an agreement to sign the River and Argentina starlet for an initial £12.5 million ($16m) fee after fighting off competition from Barcelona.

City have a strong record when it comes to bringing the best out of Argentina's best exports, with the likes of Pablo Zabaleta, Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero helping them to emerge as the dominant force in the Premier League. Julian Alvarez is now flying the Argentine flag for the English champions, having also been snapped up from River, and there is no reason why Echeverri can't follow in his footsteps after a stunning start to his fledgling career.

Article continues below