Incredible stats show Julian Alvarez and not Lionel Messi is Argentina’s key man as side struggle without Man City star

LIONEL MESSI is the man so many would point to as Argentina’s key player, but stats may have shown it’s Julian Alvarez who is the most important to the side.

Argentina are gearing up for a blockbuster World Cup final against reigning champions France on Sunday.

Lionel Messi will be hoping to take home the World Cup golden boot as he faces off against PSG team mate Kylian Mbappe in the final.

Julian Alvarez has scored more goals at this World Cup than Kane, Ronaldo and Neymar.

Nobody has more goals or assists in the tournament than Messi with the PSG star netting five times and tallying up three assists too.

But despite the plaudits being aimed at Messi, an amazing stat has revealed he may not be the most important player to his nation.

OptaJavier revealed on Twitter that with Alvarez on the pitch Lionel Scaloni’s side are yet to concede and they have scored 11 of their 12 goals in Qatar so far when he’s been playing.

The stat suggests he not only offers a threat going forward, but is helping his side defend from the front too.

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The forward has bagged four goals and registered one assist so far in the six games he’s been a part of in the World Cup.

He was used as a substitute in the first two games, but has started the subsequent four after impressive cameos and poor performances from other players.

Alvarez scored a brace as his side cruised past Croatia in the semi-final, winning 3-0.

The Manchester City man doubled Argentina’s lead with a stunning solo goal starting inside his own half after Messi’s penalty opener.

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He then netted his side’s third goal by getting on the end of a superb Messi assist.

Despite the 22-year-old’s obvious quality he plays second fiddle to the Erling Haaland whilst in Manchester and has only played 90 minutes once in the Premier League this season.

Alvarez joined Pep Guardiola’s side for a only £14million last January, but his value is expected to sky rocket following his recent performances.

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