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Football

Alejandro Garnacho ready to seize the moment

ARGENTINA

After an excellent season with Manchester United, the dazzling winger is aiming to prove his worth in Lionel Scaloni’s new-look Argentina squad.

  • Alejandro Garnacho has been named in Argentina’s Copa America squad
  • Attacker heads to tournament after outstanding campaign for Manchester United
  • FIFA shines the spotlight on Madrid-born teenager’s rise

Like thousands of her compatriots affected by Argentina’s financial crisis of 2001, Patricia Ferreyra Fernandez decided to go abroad in search of new opportunities. Spain offered everything that her country was lacking at the time: stability, security and a way forward. It was time to take a deep breath and seek out new horizons.

Patricia would then meet Alex Garnacho, and in 2004 their son Alejandro was born in Madrid. The young boy was only five when his mother took it upon herself to give him the famous sky blue and white shirt of her homeland, which at the time had two stars above the AFA crest. 

Fast forward to March 2022, when Argentina were gearing up for their South American qualifiers against Venezuela and Ecuador.

With the team already guaranteed a place at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, Lionel Scaloni rang the changes by calling up seven U-20 players practically unknown at local level: Franco and Valentin Carboni, Nicolas Paz, Tiago Geralnik, Luka Romero, Matias Soule and Alejandro Garnacho. The idea was to get to know them, make them feel included and protect them.

A year later, most were part of the team Javier Mascherano took to the FIFA U-20 World Cup™ in Argentina. Some, such as Garnacho, went straight into the senior squad and over time became known as ‘europibes’, youngsters with Argentinian roots whose parents mostly had to emigrate for socioeconomic reasons. 

“I want to be here. So hopefully the mis… (he was about to say ‘mister’, as the coach is referred to in Spain, but stops himself) the coach trusts me so I can continue to be involved. I want to be part of the group,” Garnacho said in August 2023, before making his senior team debut in a friendly against Australia

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