Argentina is taking nine defenders, seven midfielders and seven forwards to the World Cup in Qatar as coach Lionel Scaloni’s team aims to build on its Copa America success.
Scaloni announced his 26-player squad – which contains two fewer forwards than the roster for traditional rival Brazil – in a video on Friday. He is scheduled to speak about his choices on Monday.
Argentina won the Copa America in 2021, its first major trophy in 28 years. The World Cup squad has 21 players from the Copa America.
Lionel Messi’s team are unbeaten in 35 matches.
The 35-year-old Messi, who will play his fifth and likely last World Cup, is joined by other veterans including striker Ángel Di María (34), defender Nicolás Otamendi (34) and goalkeeper Franco Armani (36).
Argentina has also rejuvenated the team since the 2018 World Cup by including forward Lautaro Martínez, and midfielder Enzo Fernández after only a couple of games for the national team. Fernández has quickly adapated to European soccer in his first season with Benfica.
Midfielder Giovani Lo Celso sustained a hamstring injury at the end of last month that ruled him out of the tournament. However, striker Paulo Dybala, who suffered a muscle injury in his left leg on Oct. 9, managed to return in time for the squad.
Captain: Lionel Messi
Coach: Lionel Scaloni
Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland
Goalkeepers: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Franco Armani (River Plate) and Geronimo Rulli (Villarreal)
Defenders: Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla), Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United), Juan Foyth (Villarreal), Nicolas Tagliafico (Olympique Lyonnais), Marcos Acuna (Sevilla)
Midfielders: Leandro Paredes (Juventus), Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis), Enzo Fernandez (Benfica), Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen), Alejandro Gomez (Sevilla), Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Forwards: Paulo Dybala (AS Roma), Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain), Angel Di Maria (Juventus), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Joaquin Correa (Inter Milan), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan), Julian Alvarez (Manchester City)
#Qatar2022 El sueño ya comenzó
Ésta es la lista de futbolistas que defenderán la camiseta de la Selección Argentina #TodosJuntos pic.twitter.com/jwJ3hbzvf0
— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) November 11, 2022
Argentina;s Wprld Cup schedule
Nov 22: vs Saudi Arabai, 3:30 pm IST
Nov 27: vs Mexico, 12:30 am IST
Dec 1: vs Poland, 12:30 am IST
FIFA World Cup 2022: Lionel Messi fans install footballer’s cutout in Kerala river; watch