Edson Alvarez is quickly becoming a dominant Mexican figure abroad.
The midfielder first kicked off his professional career with Club America, working through the youth academy before securing a debut with the senior team in 2016. Alvarez quickly stood out, taking a defensive lead in the midfield while facilitating the attack.
He scored his first career goal in the 2016 Apertura final against Tigres UANL. But it wasn’t until 2018 that his efforts earned him offensive credibility.
The midfielder was given the start in the second leg of the Apertura final against Cruz Azul, replacing an injured Mateus Uribe. Alvarez embraced the responsibilities well, scoring twice to manage the 2-0 aggregate score and inspire Club America to their 13th league title.
The victory attracted international attention. And after three years, one trophy and over 100 appearances with the Liga MX giants, the midfielder completed the daunting move abroad.
He joined Ajax on a five-year contract for a reported $17m, boasting, once again, the number four jersey he wore with the Eagles back home. The midfielder has gone on to become an integral part of the dutch side, recording 10 goals and five assists in 112 appearances to inspire two league trophies and one KNVB cup victory.
“I am very happy, everything that I am living right now is so much more than I ever dreamed of. Obviously you imagine these things, you dream about it but it's difficult, once you actually experience it, to assimilate it,” he said exclusively to 90min.
Despite previous success with the team, the player recalled his most recent Champions League goal against Rangers as an emotional turning point.
“You put Mexico there, let them know what Mexicans are made of. And then when they mention [Tlanelplanta], the place where I came from, it makes me very emotional. It's very emotional for me being so far from home. Being able to remember where I came from, and that now European places are mentioned is incredible.”
His club success has propelled the player to become a prominent figure in the Mexican national team. Since his debut in 2017, the midfielder has recorded three goals in 59 appearances for El Tri. Among several international accolades, Alvarez stands as the youngest El Tri figure to score in a Concacaf Gold Cup at just 19-years-old.
Now, he’s on track to feature in his second World Cup.
“It’s a lot of joy, a lot of happiness to play for Mexico, but a lot of responsibility. Being a starter in your national team, and even more so in an event as important as the World Cup, means a lot.”