‘Next Lionel Messi’ Claudio Echeverri Makes it to Argentina’s U-23 Pre-Olympic Squad As Javier Mascherano Drops Announcement

Published 01/11/2024, 3:28 AM EST

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The world is waiting for the next Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Meanwhile, Claudio Echeverri‘s incredible showcase in the U17 World Cup took the soccer world by surprise, garnering big praise. It looks like he is being prepared to get into the larger ecosystem of Argentine soccer as he made it to the U23 roster alongside his pal Pablo Solari. The 18-year-old will be the youngest and one can consider this a stairway to the national team if everything goes well.

South America has always been an ocean for young talents. Lads like Vitor Roque, Endrick, and even Agustin Ruberto, are captivating the eyes of selectors. But Javier Mascherano’s recent decision has opened a wide gate for Echeverri!

Echeverri aka the ‘next Lionel Messi’, receives another surprise, right after signing for a top European club!


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Argentinian icon, Mascherano, handles the U20 national team and the Olympics U23 teams for Argentina. With the all-important Olympics coming up in 2024, the coach has selected Claudio Echeverri as a part of the U23 team, which will play in the CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic tournament. With a foot that paints brilliant passes and a mind that anticipates the game like a chess grandmaster, the River Plate midfielder has earned the “next Lionel Messi” tag.

Claudio Echeverri’s technical brilliance holds undeniable potential with signs of becoming the modern-day great. The star was the joint second-top scorer in the 2023 Under-17 World Cup, with five goals, including a magnificent hat trick against Brazil.


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However, the striker will need to prove himself in the upcoming campaign. The pre-Olympic tournament starts on January 20, 2024, in Venezuela. Argentina placed in Group B along with Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, and Peru U23s. The first game for the junior Albiceleste will be on January 21st against the Paraguayans.

Other talented players included in the team are Thiago Almada of Atlanta United, Cristian Medina of Boca Juniors, and many others. The prime focus will be on the River Plate teenager. This piece of news comes just days after the youngster sealed the deal with his brand-new club in England. Let’s dive deeper.

Claudio Echeverri seals his place in Europe and it’s not Barcelona!


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The Argentinian midfielder started to create curiosity in European clubs. Despite dreaming of playing for FC Barcelona due to being a fan of Lionel Messi, Echeverri was coveted by Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, and Real Madrid. However, the player had to give up hopes of playing for the Blaugrana, due to the club’s financial turmoil.

Nevertheless, he will be playing under one of Barcelona’s best disciples of all time, Pep Guardiola. The Sky Blues have struck a $27 million deal with River Plate spanning over a six-year period. However, the youngster will stay in Argentina until the end of December 2024, fulfilling his contract.


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Are you excited to watch Claudio Echeverri unleash his potential? Let us know in the comments below.

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One take at a time

Growing up in a sporting background, I found a passion for soccer through the remarkable 2002 World Cup-winning Brazilian football team. Watching the Premier League where Thierry Henry-starring ‘Invincible’ Gunners and Sir Alex Ferguson’s glorious Manchester United had ruled, I had my heart set on Arsenal. However, Ronaldo Nazario, Rivaldo, and Ronaldinho are my favorite players and Lionel Messi is the GOAT.
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Edited by:

Daniel D'Cruz