Lionel Messi is set for his fifth World Cup appearance as Scaloni announces Argentina’s final 26-man list for the 2022 World Cup on Qatar.
Messi made his first World Cup appearance for Argentina in 2006 at a very tender age, and will be making his fifth consecutive appearance in the tournament.
Despite his record appearance for the team, he was unable to win any trophy until 2021, when he led the team to the Copa America trophy at the Maracana stadium in Brazil.
The seven times Ballon d’Or winner hinted of retiring after the 2022 World Cup, saying that he may be his last World Cup.
However, in an interview with DirectTVSports, he seemed to retrieve his statement, saying the decision to retire may depend on his fitness after the tournament.
Some Premier League players, five of them have been included in the squad. Former Ajax and Manchester United center-back Lisandro Martinez is on the list.
Tottenham’s Christian Romero, Brighton’s Mac Allister, Emi Martinez, and Manchester City’s Julian Alvarez are all on the list.
Another top players included in the squad is former Manchester City and now Benfica defender Nicolas Otamendi. Juan Foyth, a former Tottenham defender is also on the list.
Former PSG and Juventus midfielder Leandro Paredes is also another top playmaker to pilot the Argentina midfield with Lionel Messi.
His team-mate in Turin, Angel Di Maria, another veteran of the unsuccessful 2014 and 2018 campaigns, is back and bidding to win the tournament for what will likely prove to be his final opportunity.
Enzo Fernandez, who has been so impressive for Benfica this season having only joined from River Plate in the summer, is included as expected. He will be looking to add to his two Argentina caps.
Goalkeepers: Emi Martínez, Franco Armani, Geronimo Rulli
Defenders: Nahuel Molina, Gonzalo Montiel, Cristian Romero, German Pezzella, Nicolas Otamendi, Lisandro Martínez, Marcos Acuna, Nicolas Tagliafico, Juan Foyth
Forwards: Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Papu Gomez, Lautaro Martínez, Julian Alvarez, Joaquin Correa
Argentina 2022 World Cup chances
Argentina last won the World Cup in 1986. They will be bidding for their fourth World Cup trophy, having won it three times.
They will open their 2022 World Cup campaign on November 22 against Saudi Arabia before taking on Mexico and Poland in Group C.
Messi would complete the career haul of trophies if he wins football’s grandest prize in Qatar on December 18.
The 2018 campaign was marred by squad in-fighting with the then-head coach Jorge Sampaoli – it was so heated that rumors circulated that he picked the team for their third and final group stage match against Nigeria which they had to win.
They faced France in the last 16, having been on the losing side of one of the World Cup’s all-time great matches, with the Frence winning 4-3.
Going into the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the South American champions harbour hopes of going far. Messi and others are closing in on Italy’s 37-game unbeaten streak (a record). They are 35 matches unbeaten at present.
Argentina also won the third edition of Finalissima against European champions Italy at Wembley earlier this year.
They have reached the final on two occasions since 1986 – their last success. Italia 90 saw them defeated by West Germany while 2014 saw them again lose to Germany 1-0.