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Lionel Messi Leads Star-studded Argentina's FIFA World Cup Squad

By: Sports Desk


Last Updated: November 11, 2022, 23:20 IST

Buenos Aires

Lionel Messi will play his last World Cup this year (AFP Image)

Lionel Messi will play his last World Cup this year (AFP Image)

Lionel Scaloni named a star-studded Argentina squad, led by Lionel Messi, for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup

Injured forward Paulo Dybala made the cut as Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni named on Friday his 26-man squad for the Nov. 20-Dec. 18 World Cup in Qatar.

Captain Lionel Messi will lead the squad in Qatar at his fifth and probably last World Cup.

Last month, Roma forward Dybala injured his thigh and Juventus winger Di Maria pulled his hamstring, seemingly putting their World Cup participation in doubt.

But Scaloni has decided to bring both despite neither playing in almost a month.

However, Villarreal midfielder Lo Celso, on loan from Tottenham, misses out as he needs surgery on his hamstring injury.

“They are all proud to be picked and to wear this jersey," said Scaloni of those selected.

Argentina are on a formidable run of 35 matches unbeaten and won the Copa America last year, defeating hosts Brazil 1-0 in the final at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

They have not won the World Cup since the late Diego Maradona inspired them to victory in 1986, although they lost two finals to Germany in 1990 (then West Germany) and 2014.

“We are in a good moment with Argentina, the people are expectant, they are restless, they think we’ve already brought home the cup but it’s not so easy," said Messi, 35, recently.

Two-time champions Argentina begin their World Cup campaign in Group C against Saudi Arabia on November 22 before further clashes with 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 St Germain), Angel Di Maria (Juventus), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Joaquin Correa (Inter Milan), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan), Julian Alvarez (Manchester City).

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    (With inputs from Agencies)

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    first published:November 11, 2022, 21:14 IST
    last updated:November 11, 2022, 23:20 IST