World Cup 2022: Argentina’s Alexis McAllister has roots in rural Antrim | Jobs Vox


The Mac Allisters from the Glens of Antrim have traveled far through the generations – and their numbers are now on the brink of World Cup glory.

Argentina midfielder Alexis McAllister is part of the Argentina squad that is preparing to face France in the World Cup final in Qatar on Sunday.

The 23-year-old is said to have family roots in the small seaside village of Cushendall, where his surname is popular with the local population, albeit with some spelling variations.

Brighton & Hove Albion player’s first appearance on global football’s biggest stage, including scoring the opening goal Poland won 2:0 in the group stageThere is great pride for those who live in an area where family tradition is strong.

Argentina’s victory in Sunday’s showpiece decider in Cushendall was more celebrated and while pre-match attention will focus on the legendary Lionel Messi, it is Alexis McAllister’s name that is on the locals’ lips.

“There seems to be a link with one of the Argentina players. It’s been a hot topic of conversation for the last week or two,” said corner shop owner Dominic McAllister.

Alexis McAllister congratulates Lionel Messi after he scored a penalty in Argentina's semi-final against Croatia.
Alexis McAllister (left) congratulates Lionel Messi after he scored a penalty in Argentina’s semi-final match against Croatia

“At first everyone thought it was a bit of a hoax but now it’s real. A lot of lads have sought him out and it seems his family is from Cushendall.

“They left Cushendall in the late 1700s, early 1800s, it seems – his great, great, great ancestors. That was the whole conversation, so we’ve been watching and wondering if there’s any connection.

“You take the McAllisters out of Cushendall, there wouldn’t be many left, to be honest. There’s a bit of a buzz. If he wins, we’ve got to go out and celebrate.

“[Getting him to Cushendall] Stranger things could happen.

“We will do it and we will contact him if that is the case. All I can say is ‘Come on Argentina!’

Fergus McAllister of the local GAA club said it was “unbelievable that Mc Allister is playing in Argentina”.

“I actually sent a message asking for two tickets to the World Cup final, as a family member I thought I would have at least two, but I didn’t get a reply,” Fergus joked.

“The place comes with them, and there are two or three different ways of spelling it. There’s Macallister with one L, Macalister with two L’s, it’s spelled Mac Allister, but that’s the Gaelic spelling of it.

“If I were to write my name in the game, I would write it like this.

“He will be more welcome if Argentina win”

Alexis McAllister
Alexis McAllister scored Argentina’s first goal in a 2-0 win over Poland in Qatar.

“As someone checked, his family was from Glenan in Cushendall. We think his great, great grandfather was Alec McAllister.

“Alec McAllister still living in Glenan at this time, but we don’t 100% think he’s a direct relative.

“We have word on Twitter that his relatives were in Buenos Aires receiving a GAA award. They obviously have a GAA connection and could play hurling here.

“He would be more than welcome if Argentina win it on Sunday and who knows if he hears about it here, he might come back to see where his family came from.

“We’re going to get him out here, we’re going to get him the ball and show him what a real man’s game is,” he added – a reference to shooting.


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