2018 FIFA World Cup: Argentina squad guide, full fixtures, group and key players

Argentina National Team

Despite the arrear of talents in their squad, Argentina will be banking on Lionel Messi again.

The La Albiceleste are previous winners of the World Cup in 1978 and 1986 and will be making their 17th World cup appearance in Russia.

After a difficult qualifying campaign, Argentina will be banking on the genius of Lionel Messi to seek their first World Cup glory since 1986.

Captain: Lionel Messi

Manager: Jorge Sampaoli

Nickname: La Albiceleste

FIFA World Cup history (17 appearances, Winners in 1978 and 1986)

Fixtures

Argentina Vs Iceland

Argentina Vs Croatia

Argentina Vs Nigeria

Key Men

1. Lionel Messi

Arguably the best footballer of the modern era, Lionel Messi needs no introduction. The little Barcelona forward was instrumental in his teams’ qualification for World Cup.

At the age of 30, Messi will also be dying to get his hands on a trophy with the national side, what will be his crowning glory in his legacy.

2. Nicolas Otamendi

After a fantastic season with Manchester City, Otamendi has finally started to fulfil the potential that was very obvious from his early days at Valencia.

With the array of attacking talent in Argentina’s disposal, Otamendi’s presence at the back brings the solidity the likes of Messi and Sergio Aguero need to destroy opponents.

Squad

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

Defenders: Gabriel Mercardo (Sevilla), Cristian Ansaldi (Torino), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Federico Fazio (Roma), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon), Javier Mascherano (Hebei China Fortune)

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

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

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