Argentina's national football team coach Lionel Scaloni has confirmed the Albiceleste squad for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, with injury doubts Juan Foyth and Paolo Dybala making the cut.
The squad of 26 players, who will compete with 31 other teams for football's most prestigious prize in Doha over the next two months, contains three goalkeepers, nine defenders, seven midfielders and seven forwards. It was announced via a video posted on social media.
Headed by captain Lionel Messi, the main absence is Villarreal's on-loan midfielder Giovani Lo Celso, a regular starter who is facing surgery and will miss the tournament through injury. Another injury doubt, veteran winger Ángel Di María has also been called up.
"Everyone is proud to be called up and wear this shirt," said Scaloni in a video broadcast on the Albiceleste's social media feeds.
Argentina are on a formidable run of 35 matches unbeaten and won the Copa América last year, defeating hosts Brazil 1-0 in the final at the Maracanã 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.
The squad in full:
– Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa)
– Gerónimo Rulli (Villarreal)
– Franco Armani (River Plate)
– Nahuel Molina (Atlético Madrid)
– Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla)
– Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur)
– Germán Pezzella (Betis)
– Nicolás Otamendi (Benfica)
– Lisandro Martínez (Manchester United)
– Marcos Acuña (Sevilla)
– Nicolás Tagliafico (Olympique de Lyon)
– Juan Foyth (Villarreal)
– Rodrigo De Paul (Atlético Madrid)
– Leandro Paredes (Juventus)
– Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton)
– Guido Rodríguez (Betis)
– Alejandro Gómez (Sevilla)
– Enzo Fernández (Benfica)
– Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen)
– Ángel Di María (Juventus)
– Lautaro Martínez (Inter)
– Julián Álvarez (Manchester City)
– Paulo Dybala (Roma)
– Nicolás González (Fiorentina)
– Joaquín Correa (Inter)
– Lionel Messi (París Saint-Germain)