By Benjamin Dalusma
Ricardo Alvarez is one of the best playmakers in the world but unfortunately his talent is often misunderstood. Let's analyze the player tactically...
Ricky Alvarez is not your typical tequartista, yet he does not get either the attention or the opportunity he truly deserves. The first time I saw him play for Velez a couple of years ago (2010), I knew the kid was money and that sooner or later he'd become one of the most important players in football. Today, while most of Inter's managers (Gasperini, Ranieri and Stramaccioni) have used him quite regularly in their systems, I still believe that we have not seen the full potential of this player, mostly because he has not been used at his optimal position.
As I said, he is not a typical attacking midfielder and maybe this is why his talent and efforts on the pitch get overlooked. When he started his professional career in Argentina for Velez around 2008, he was a classic number 10, the offensive leader and the guy who controlled the game's tempo. Many described him as the new Riquelme. He was very slow but his passing abilities and his technique made him an interesting prospect. However, it was during his last season in Argentina that he proved he could be a world class player. During that season he played everywhere in the midfield: on the wing as right/left midfielder, as a classic number 10 but mostly as deep-lying playmaker and to be quite honest that's where he impressed me the most. He often looked like Pirlo but bringing much more offensive upside to Velez while still being pretty solid defensively. His versatility was crucial to Velez's wonderful run in the Copa Libertadores in 2011.
As an Inter Milan fan, I was very happy to hear him sign with them in the summer 2011. Many questioned the move and argued that Inter did not need such a player. What would've been the role of a young playmaker considering that the team already had Sneijder as their central attacking midfielder and Dejan Stankovic could come off the bench at any time? I have a feeling most people in the football world (including people in Argentina) don't understand the importance of..... continued at The Tactical Importance of Ricky Alvarez