Argentina names Messi, 22 others for World Cup

Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero
Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has named his 23-man World Cup squad as he gets to face Iceland, Croatia and then Nigeria in the group phase of the Mundial in Russia.

Predictably, the coach has included Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala to feature in attack alongside Lionel Messi.

He has however surprisingly left out Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi and Racing Club starlet Lautaro Martinez.

“Unfortunately, we could only choose four in attack and many important players like [Diego] Perotti, Icardi, Lautaro Martinez were left out,” Sampaoli said on Monday.

“I’m grateful to all the players that have contributed to Argentina being at the World Cup. I always had clear that these players are on the list that are closest to the idea that we want.”

Argentina, who have not won the World Cup since 1986, will face Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria in Group D.

They have lost three straight major finals — two Copa Americas and the 2014 World Cup — and are desperate to succeed in Russia.

Full Squad

Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Wilfredo Caballero (Chelsea), Franco Armani (River Plate)

Defenders: Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Cristian Ansaldi (Torino), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Federico Fazio (Roma), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), Marcos Acuna (Sporting CP).

Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Hebei China Fortune), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica), Lucas Biglia (Milan), Giovani Lo Celso (Paris Saint-Germain), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain), Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors),

Forwards: Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus).


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