Jorge Sampaoli, the head coach of the Argentina national football team, announces the final squad of 23 footballers who are going to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia:
Goalkeepers: Willy Caballero (Chelsea), Nahuel Guzman (UANL Tigres), Franco Armani (River Plate).
Defenders: Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Javier Mascherano (Hebei China Fortune), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Federico Fazio (Roma), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), Marcos Acuna (Sporting), Cristian Ansaldi (Torino).
Midfielders: Эвер Банега (Sevilla), Lucas Biglia (Milan), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica), Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Angel Di Maria, Giovani Lo Celso (PSG), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham).
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City).
Argentina is traditionally rich in attacking players. This year squad includes the world best footballers Leo Messi, the rising star Paulo Dybala, as well as two shooting forwards Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain. Top scorer of Serie A Mauro Icardi is left beyond the squad.
Weak points of the South Americans are the defending and goalkeeping lines. Nahuel Guzman and Willy Caballero were reserve goalkeepers in their clubs and have had no permanent game practice throughout the whole season.
Among the defenders of the Argentina national team only Nicolas Otamendi represents a top club. But the major problem of Argentina is of another kind. With one of the strongest among all world teams, The Albiceleste show extremely primitive and low-performing football. Under the direction of Jorge Sampaoli, Argentina was qualified with great difficulty and suffered thumping in the friendly match with the Spain national team. The Albiceleste have only two weeks to take remedial actions.