06.12.2023 - 11:13 | source: Transfermarkt | Reading Time: 5 mins
CA River Plate
Claudio Echeverri
Talents Calendar 

Claudio Echeverri: River Plate's El Diablito is already wanted by Europe's elite

Claudio Echeverri: River Plate's El Diablitos is already wanted by Europe's elite

Claudio Echeverri was one of the favorites to win the Golden Ball at this year’s U17 FIFA World Cup but, surprisingly, was overlooked. But it wasn’t out of anger for having lost the semifinal or the bronze medal game that he wasn’t there in person to receive the Bronze Boot as the third-best goalscorer of the tournament. Instead, Argentina’s captain had already left Indonesia because of a family tragedy. 

Market Value
Claudio Echeverri
C. Echeverri Attacking Midfield

After a dramatic elimination by eventual champions Germany (5-7 after penalties) in the semifinal—Echeverri missed his penalty—and one day before the game for third place against Mali, Echeverri received the message that his grandmother had passed away, which shocked him deeply. “I am still in disbelieve that you have left us,” the 17-year-old wrote on Instagram. “I love you so much, and you will always be with me. Send us the strength to continue.” In the final for the third-place match against Mali, Echeverri started the game on the bench and was unable to influence the game positively after coming on in the second half.

Prior, Echeverri was the game dominating no.10 for Argentina. Scoring five goals himself, the playmaker also initiated countless attacks for his team. “He is without a doubt the biggest talent in Argentina,” Area Manager for Argentina and South America Scott Christensen said. “We have been hearing about him for four or five years. He is a small player who plays as an attacking midfielder. He is skillful, a good dribbler, creative, difficult to anticipate, and has a very strong finish. He is a player who always wants the ball and the initiative.” 

Echeverri’s nickname is El Diablito (the little devil) after the former Bolivian national team player with a similar name, Marco Etcheverry. Known as El Diablo, the Bolivian attacking midfielder, like Echeverri now, was known for his devilish dribbles, his speed in one-v-one situations, and his strong finish. Echeverri’s talent quickly captured the headlines in Argentina despite the fact that youth games were canceled for some time during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Argentina talent Echeverri: No River Plate move without my mother 

Born in Resistencia, which is located in the Chaco province, Echeverri started his career at Deportivo Luján before he went on trial as a ten-year-old at River Plate where he impressed right away. “Claudio was always special,” Claudio Brizuela, who was in charge of youth development at the club, said to TyC Sports. “On the first day, we played a friendly against Lanús, and he was fantastic. They asked me to sign him.” 

Transfermarkt talents calendar day 6: Claudio Echeverri

That wasn’t so simple, however. “I will never forget it,” Brizuela said. “We were standing in front of the Monumental, and Echeverri said to me: ‘I am a River fan, and I love it here, but if my mother isn’t joining me, then I will head back to Chaco.’” Brizuela then moved heaven and earth to organize an apartment for his mother in Buenos Aires. In the end, it was former head coach Marcelo Gallardo and former club president Rodolfo D’Onofrio who supported the family.

As of 2017, Echeverri dribbled his way through the various youth teams at River Plate and it took just six months to receive international recognition. At a youth tournament in Venice, Italy, River Plate finished third, and Echeverri scored nine goals in six games—including four goals against Juventus. Videos of his goals went viral on social media. “The truth is that we aren’t happy because we wanted to win the tournament,” Echeverri said afterward.

Talents Calendar 2022: How have last year's talents developed?

Paris Brunner | Germany | Market value: –

Paris Brunner is still awaiting his first game with Borussia Dortmund's first team. But the forward has been a star for Germany at the U17 World Cup in Indonesia.


Paul Okon | Australia | Market value: –

Paul Okon is currently making his next steps within the Benfica academy.


Christos Alexiou | Greece | Market value: –
© Christos Alexiou

Christos Alexiou has struggled with injuries and is currently playing for Inter Milan's U18.


Mike Kleijn | Netherlands | Market value: –

Mike Kleijn is still waiting for his Feyenoord debut and has also been converted from being a playmaker to a left-back.


Henry Gray | New Zealand | Market value: €125,000

Born in Germany Henry Gray has fulfilled his dream of moving to Europe by joining Ipswich Town.


Luka Parkadze | Georgia | Market value: €150,000

Luka Parkadze joined Bayern Munich in the summer and was right away loaned out to the Admira Wacker Mödling.


Luphumlo Sifumba | South Africa | Market value: €200,000
© Cape Town City FC

Luphumlo Sifumba is still waiting for a high profile move to Europe.


Omar Megeed | Egypt | Market value: €250,000

Omar Megeed is now a member of Hamburg's first squad.


Martin Kern | Hungary | Market value: €250,000

Martin Kern has made his debut for Puskás Akadémia FC but has struggled with injuries this season.


Theo Sander | Denmark | Market value: €500,000

Theo Sander has left Aalborg BK and joined Danish giants Copenhagen.


Beknaz Almazbekov | Kyrgyzstan | Market value: €500,000
© Galatasaray SK

Beknaz Almazbekov has played three games for Kyrgyzstan but is still waiting to make his first team debut for Galatasaray.


Wisdom Amey | Italy | Market value: €700,000

Wisdom Amey is still awaiting his first team debut for Bologna.


Yarek Gasiorowski | Spain | Market value: €1m

Yarek Gasiorowski is now a member of Valencia's first team and has already featured five times.


Fabio Chiarodia | Italy | Market value: €1m

Fabio Chiarodia joined Gladbach from Werder for €2m and has featured five times for his new club.


Kenan Yildiz | Turkey | Market value: €1m

Since scoring his debut goal for Turkey Kenan Yildiz is considered one of the hottest prospects in European football.


Joshua Wynder | USA | Market value: €1.2m

Joshua Wynderleft Louisville City and joined Benfica in what was a USL Championship record transfer.


Rodrigo Ribeiro | Portugal | Market value: €3m

Rodrigo Ribeiro has already regularly featured for Sporting this season.


Roger | Guinea-Bissau | Market value: €3.5m

Roger is one step further at Braga and has featured in 18 games altogether.


Valentín Carboni | Argentina | Market value: €5m

Valentín Carboni has been loaned out from Inter Milan to Monza where he is supposed to collect much needed playing time.


Jobe Bellingham | England | Market value: €6m

Jobe Bellingham the brother of Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham has joined Sunderland last summer.


Julien Duranville | Belgium | Market value: €8.5m

Julien Duranvillej oined Dortmund for €8.5m last January but has struggled with injuries.


Désiré Doué | France | Market value: €15m

Désiré Doué has already managed 50 games for Stade Rennais and has been called up for France's U21 side.


Antonio Nusa | Norway | Market value: €20m

Despite back problems, Antonio Nusa has become a regular player at Brugge and increased his market value by 400%.


Vitor Roque | Brazil | Market value: €32m

Vitor Roque has underlined his massive potential by making his debut for Brazil.


Echeverri’s ascendency within the River Plate academy was quick; only 16 he made his debut for the reserve team in October 2022—and scored in his first game. At the end of the year, he signed his first professional contract that will keep him at the club until the end of 2024. In March, the preparation for the U17 South American Championship included another highlight: Echeverri and his teammates were invited to train with the first team for one day. That day, he got to train with his idol Lionel Messi, who, together with Juan Fernando Quintero and Matías Suárez, are the models for his game. “He looked sharp; we definitely watched him,” Ángel Di María said when asked about Echeverri. “He has a lot to give.” 

Adiós Argentina? Top clubs in Europe want Echeverri 

On June 23, Echeverri made his debut for River Plate in the home game against Instituto AC Córdoba (3-1) under head coach Martín Demichelis. The attacking talent contributed an assist on the final goal. Even though the fans wanted to see him more often, Echeverri made just four short appearances in 2023. “Nobody doubts Claudio’s technical abilities and his intelligence that allows him to solve all sorts of difficult situations,” Demichelis said. “But from a physical standpoint, the first phase was very difficult for him. When I joined River, I knew Echeverri was a diamond in the rough to be cut and polished.” 

The performances at the U17 tournament and with River’s academy have, however, caught the interest of several European top clubs. Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Man City, PSG, Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Benfica want to sign the talent. “I don’t think it will take long before European top clubs make a concrete offer,” TM expert Christensen said. “His exit clause is €25m and can grow to €30m on the final days of the transfer window.” But with his contract expiring at the end of 2024, the transfer fee could be negotiable.

From December 1 to 24, we introduce new players from different countries born in 2006 and 2007. Area managers, users, and data scouts come into play as experts throughout the series. You can follow all those players by adding them to your TM watchlist.

Benedikt Duda

Redakteur | seit 2011 auf TM aktiv

To the author site
Claudio Echeverri
CA River Plate
Claudio Echeverri
Date of birth/Age:
Jan 2, 2006 (18)
Nat.:  Argentina
Current club:
CA River Plate
Contract until:
Dec 31, 2024
Attacking Midfield
Market Value:
CA River Plate
Total Market Value:
Squad size:
Latest Transfer:
Agustín Sant'Anna