Iturbe stars in Argentina win over Neymar's Brazil

BY foxsports • February 7, 2011

Juan Iturbe has managed to upstage - if only for one game - Brazil's most promising young player.

The 19-year-old Neymar was the player everyone was watching when South American qualifying for the Under-20 World Cup began three weeks ago in Peru. He has not disappointed, producing a tournament-high seven goals.

However, Iturbe, a 17-year-old Argentine, probably surpassed him on Sunday in a 2-1 win over Brazil in the second round. Itrube scored in the 67th minute after Brazil - playing with 10 men from the fifth minute - had equalized in the 55th.

''Iturbe is a game-breaking player, very explosive,'' said Argentina under-20 coach Walter Perazzo.

Iturbe has scored three goals and - like Neymar - wears No. 7.

He is one of the best young players in the world, and is embroiled in a dispute between two clubs - Paraguay's Cerro Porteno and Argentina's Quilmes. However, reports suggest he will leave for FC Porto in Portugal when he turns 18 later this year.

The conflict between Cerro Porteno and Quilmes has meant Iturbe has played little for the past several months, making his performance in Peru even more impressive.

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has also expressed interest in Iturbe, who has been compared to Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

To further complicate matters, Iturbe was born in Argentina to parents from Paraguay and, in addition to playing with a Paraguay club, he played a friendly almost a year ago with Paraguay's senior national team, coached by Argentine Gerardo Martino.

But Iturbe says he's now firmly committed to Argentina.

''Now, I'm only thinking of Argentina,'' he said recently. ''I'm not talking about any future transfer.''


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