Football Soccer - Argentina's national soccer team training - World Cup 2018 Qualifiers - Buenos Aires, Argentina - October 3, 2017 - Argentina's players attend a training session ahead of their match against Peru. REUTERS/Martin Acosta
CAIRO – 21 May 2018: Argentina national team manager Jorge Sampaoli announced on Monday the team’s final squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Internazionale’s top goal scorer, Mauro Icardi, was ruled out of the squad after he was selected for the preliminary list.
Sampaoli’s chosen squad for the tournament consists of:
Sergio Romero, Willy Caballero and Franco Armani
Cristian Ansaldi, Gabriel Mercado, Federico Fazio, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Otamend and Marcos Acuna
Javier Mascherano, Maximiliano Meza, Angel Di Maria, Manuel Lanzini, Giovani Lo Celso, Ever Banega, Lucas Biglia, Eduardo Salvio and Cristian Pavon
Gonzalo Higuain, Paolo Dybala, Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi
“From the list of 35, we did comparisons with their teams, with the national team and our process; it was clear from this balance why we chose these players," Sampaoli told press after announcing the final list.
Argentina players hope to achieve their third World Cup title, as they achieved the title in 1978 and 1986.
Sampaoli believes that their biggest star, Messi, will shine at the tournament in Russia, saying, “I think Messi is very optimistic, excited about what is ahead. We won't count on Messi much for the friendly matches, but I think for the World Cup he will be very good."
Argentina plays in Group D alongside Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria.