BUENOS AIRES (AP) — Striker Julián Álvarez is making a dramatic exit from Argentina’s River Plate before joining English Premier League champion Manchester City.
He became the first River Plate player to score six goals in an official match as River Plate routed Peruvian team Alianza Lima 8-1 Wednesday night in their final Group F game in this year’s Copa Libertadores.
The Argentine’s goals came in the 15th, 18th, 41st, 54th, 57th and 83rd minutes. The last goal came after he dribbled past two opponents and finished with a cross-shot.
River Plate advanced to the knockout stage but knows it won’t have the 22-year-old Álvarez for all of the South American tournament.
Álvarez agreed to a 5-1/2 year deal with City in January. He is set to join up with City after the Copa Libertadores’ round-of-16 games, which will be played between June 28 and July 7. River Plate topped its group ahead of Friday’s draw.
River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo said it won’t be easy to replace Álvarez, calling him “a rough diamond.”