Lionel Scaloni announced his 26-man squad of Argentina for 2022 FIFA World Cup. The South American champions will be led by Lionel Messi as one of the favourites in the tournament. The Albiceleste are entering the competition with 35 match unbeaten streak.
Scaloni’s men : The team to beat
Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina have tactfully moulded themselves after the 2019 Copa America defeat against Brazil. La Albiceleste are 35 consecutive games unbeaten since the defeat against their arch-rivals. Scaloni has brought in many changes to his team since taking over from Sampaoli. The squad which was once hoping for a Lionel Messi magic to rescue them are now capable of winning games on their own. Scaloni has managed to extract the best out of his squad and thereby reduced the burden of his team captain, Messi.
Lautaro Martinez, Rodrigo De Paul, Emiliano Martinez, Cristian Romero and Leandro Paredes will be the key figures of Scaloni at the world cup. Angel Di Maria and Nicolas Otamendi will be leading the team as the senior pros alongside Lionel Messi. Paulo Dybala has made it to the squad amidst injury concerns. Julian Alvarez, Lisandro Martinez, Juan Foyth, Papu Gomez, Marcos Acuna also make it to the final squad.
Gio Lo Celso misses out of the world cup due to injury. Enzo Fernandez, Exequiel Palacios and Alexis Mac Allister are called up by Scaloni. Atletico Madrid’s Angel Correa and Napoli forward Giovanni Simeone are some of the costliest miss from the Argentina squad.
Messi’s last dance at the grandest stage of football world
Lionel Messi, Argentina’s captain is heading to play in his 5th world cup at Qatar. This is going to be Messi’s last world cup as per one of his latest interviews. The Argentine talisman came close to winning the title in 2014 and narrowly lost it to Germany at extra time. Messi has possibly won everything at individual and collective level. The only trophy that is missing from his cabinet and his most desired one is the world cup. He had to wait until 2021 to get his first ever success for Argentina at senior level. Now Messi will be hoping to get his hands on the trophy which cemented Maradona’s legacy at Argentine football.
The 7 time Balon D’or winner is widely regarded as one of the best players to ever grace this sport. He always gets mentioned in the same bracket as Pele, Maradona. The only point of argument used against him is a world cup trophy. Under Lionel Scaloni, Lionel Messi has got the right squad that could help him realise his world cup dream. Argentina are one of the favourites along with Brazil and France to win the title. Irrespective of whether Argentina wins the title or not, Messi will go down as one of the finest players of the sport.
26-man Argentina squad for 2022 FIFA World Cup
Goalkeepers : Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa/England), Franco Armani (River Plate/Argentina), Geronimo Rulli (Villarreal).
Defenders : Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla/Spain), Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid/Spain), German Pezzella (Real Betis/Spain), Cristian Romero (Tottenham/England), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica/Portugal), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United/England), Nicolas Tagliafico (Olympique Lyonnais/France), Juan Foyth (Villarreal/Spain), Marcos Acuna (Sevilla/Spain).
Midfielders : Leandro Paredes (Juventus/Italy), Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis/Spain), Enzo Fernandez (Benfica/Portugal), Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid/Spain), Alejandro Gomez (Sevilla/Spain), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen/Germany), Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton/England).
Forwards : Lionel Messi (PSG/France), Paulo Dybala (AS Roma/Italy), Angel Di Maria (Juventus/Italy), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina/Italy), Joaquin Correa (Inter Milan/Italy), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan/Italy), Julian Alvarez (Manchester City/England).