America’s young champions Edson Alvarez, Diego Lainez ready for Europe

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It was the 74th minute of Mexico’s third group-stage game of the World Cup against Sweden last summer when Edson Alvarez swung his left leg, missed the ball and then felt it ricochet off his right thigh and past goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

It must have felt like it was happening in slow motion as the ball rolled over the line to make the score 3-0 to Sweden. The goal left Mexico on the brink of exiting the competition, at least until South Korea managed to defeat Germany. After the game, Alvarez was devastated and had to be consoled by teammates.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Five months on, there were tears of a different kind streaming down the 21-year-old’s face. Alvarez was the undisputed hero for Club America as he netted two goals to secure a 2-0 victory over Cruz Azul that sealed the 2018 Apertura title.

“I thank God that he allowed me to score that own goal because I grew and now instead of crying because of sadness I’m crying for joy,” he told journalists after the game.8

Alvarez wasn’t even fit to play, having suffered what he described as a “tear” to his right hamstring in the semifinal first leg against Pumas.

“I had a first-degree tear but I knew that I couldn’t miss the game for anything in the world,” he said. “I even played with a bandage, with injections, everything, but in the end this is the result.”

And what a result it was. Alvarez is predominantly a center-back and his injury forced America coach Miguel Herrera to change to a back four for the semifinal second leg and the first game of the final. But when midfielder Mateus Uribe was ruled out with injury, Herrera turned to Alvarez to slot in alongside Guido Rodriguez in the heart of the championship-winning team, despite him not being fully fit.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The versatile Alvarez — who can also play at right-back — took his first goal well and it was the more eye-catching, but the fact that he had the drive to make his way into the box in the 90th minute to net the second was equally impressive.