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SPORTS | 17-11-2022 11:21

Argentina at the 2022 World Cup: What you need to know

A beginner’s guide to the national side, its coach, key player and who’s who.

Group C - Fixtures
Tuesday, November 22 – 7am: Argentina v Saudi Arabia 
Saturday, November 26 – 4pm: Argentina v Mexico
Wednesday, November 30 – 4pm: Poland v Argentina 

FIFA ranking
3rd

How they qualified
Runners-up to Brazil in the single South American qualifying group

Best World Cup performance
Winners in 1978 and 1986

Other notable performances
15-time Copa América winners, including in 2021; FIFA Confederations Cup winners in 1992; Olympic gold medal in 2004 and 2008

Coach
Lionel Scaloni, 44, was the assistant to Jorge Sampaoli during Argentina's disappointing 2018 World Cup campaign. He then replaced his boss, initially on an interim basis before being appointed permanently. A full-back as a player, Scaloni was part of the Albiceleste team that won the Under-20 World Cup in 1997 alongside the likes of Juan Roman Riquelme and Esteban Cambiasso. He was also part of the Deportivo la Coruña side that won the Spanish title in 2000 and the Copa del Rey in 2002. As coach, he took Argentina to third place at the 2019 Copa América before they won the continental title last year, for the first time since 1993. Argentina came through World Cup qualifying without losing, and head to Qatar unbeaten in 36 games. In September, the Argentine Football Association announced that Scaloni's contract had been extended to 2026.

Key player
At 35, Lionel Messi knows this is surely his last chance to emulate Diego Maradona and lead Argentina to World Cup glory, eight years after they lost in the final to Germany. This will be his last World Cup and he heads to Qatar having scored 91 goals in 164 appearances for his country – he has won more caps and scored more goals for Argentina than anyone else. After a difficult first year at Paris Saint-Germain following his departure from Barcelona, Messi has been in excellent form in the build-up to the World Cup, with 12 goals and 14 assists in 18 games for his club so far this season.

 

Squad

Goalkeepers:
1. Franco Armani (River Plate)
12. Gerónimo Rulli (Villarreal)
23. Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa)

Defenders:
2. Juan Foyth (Villarreal)
3. Nicolás Tagliafico (Olympique Lyonnais)
4. Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla)
6. Germán Pezzella (Betis)
8. Marcos Acuña (Sevilla)
13. Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur)
19. Nicolás Otamendi (Benfica)
25. Lisandro Martínez (Manchester United)
26. Nahuel Molina (Atlético Madrid)

Midfielders:
5. Leandro Paredes (Juventus)
7. Rodrigo De Paul (Atlético Madrid)
14. Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen)
17. Alejandro Gómez (Sevilla)
18. Guido Rodríguez (Betis)
20. Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton)
24. Enzo Fernández (Benfica)

Forwards:
9. Julián Álvarez (Manchester City)
10. Lionel Messi (París Saint-Germain)
11. Ángel Di María (Juventus)
15. Nicolás González (Fiorentina)
16. Joaquín Correa (Inter)
21. Paulo Dybala (Roma)
22. Lautaro Martínez (Inter)
 

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