Who is Claudio Echeverri? Argentina’s ‘next Messi’ who destroyed Brazil at the under-17 World Cup
It seems like there is a ‘new Lionel Messi’ every year, just like the Barcelona legend was once dubbed the ‘new Diego Maradona’ but in the case of Claudio Echeverri, the comparisons could have some merit.
Echeverri has been a star for Argentina during the under-17 World Cup and his exploits attracted global attention when the teenager scored a hat-trick against Brazil in Indonesia.
Having already made his debut for River Plate, Echeverri appears to be on the pathway to greatness and it is no surprise that some of Europe’s biggest sides are already keeping tabs on the youngster.
But why is Echeverri exciting so many people in football? Is he truly the greatest thing to come out of Argentina since Messi? FootballTransfers takes a look at River’s latest wonderkid.
What position does Claudio Echeverri play in?
Echeverri is still early into his career but he has featured for River Plate and Argentina’s youth sides mainly as an attacking midfielder and a right-footed number ten.
How good is Claudio Echeverri?
Although comparisons to Messi are perhaps a dime a dozen in South America, none perhaps deserve it more than Echeverri, as proven by his hat-trick against Brazil in the 2023 under-17 World Cup.
The 17-year-old showcased his incredible dribbling, pace and skill during the quarter-finals, with one of his goals mirroring one of Messi’s in his early days against Brazil.
Lionel Messi vs. Brazil 🤝 Claudio Echeverri vs. Brazilpic.twitter.com/c63H3Tbr0f
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) November 24, 2023
Echeverri is the joint-top scorer in the World Cup as of the time of writing, having scored a total of five goals in the tournament however he has netted 12 times in 18 games at under-17 level for his country overall.
Nicknamed ‘El Diablito’, Echeverri has perhaps unsurprisingly listed Messi as one of his idols and the Ballon d’Or winner’s playstyle in his youth certainly matches that of the River Plate youngster.
Echeverri first rose to light in the Venice Champions Trophy in 2017, when, at the age of 11, he scored nine goals in six games in the children’s tournament aimed at some of the biggest clubs in the world.
The teenager has already made four appearances for River Plate and dazzled fans with his technique in his limited game time, having grabbed an assist on his professional debut.
With confidence, ability and bags of flair, Echeverri looks set to continue his meteoric rise to stardom and justify the comparisons to his idol Messi.
What clubs are interested in signing Claudio Echeverri?
Previously the likes of Milan, Juventus, Manchester City and Real Madrid have been touted with an interest in Echeverri, however his performances in the under-17 World Cup will have certainly alerted scouts worldwide.
Former Milan director Paolo Maldini is said to have met with River Plate’s president during the summer, with Echeverri’s name having come up in discussions, while Real are believed to already have come up with a proposal to sign him and loan him out, either in Spain or back to River.
Intriguingly, Echeverri is thought to have a release clause of €20 million in his contract, meaning teams could potentially move towards a bargain coup over their rivals.
When does Claudio Echeverri’s contract expire?
Echeverri has just over a year remaining on his contract, which is set to expire on December 31 2024, two days before his 19th birthday.
How old is Claudio Echeverri?
Echeverri’s birthday is on January 2 2006 making him 17 years old.
What is Claudio Echeverri’s Instagram?
Echeverri currently has 715,000 followers on Instagram as of November 2023.