Sampaoli, of course, has Barcelona‘s Lionel Messi spearheading La Albiceleste’s quest for a first World Cup triumph in 32 years, but the little magician will be joined by a stellar cast including Angel Di Maria, Paulo Dybala, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain to name but a few.
“Our goal is to try to take advantage of the individual quality of this group of players. I am excited with the idea,” said Sampaoli.
Watch what the coach had to say here.
The 25-year-old netted 29 goals in Serie A this season, topping the scoring charts alongside Lazio forward Ciro Immobile, as Inter qualified for the Champions League.
But with boss Jorge Sampaoli having Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero in his strike department, there is no room for Icardi.
Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori, who like Icardi was named in Sampaoli’s initial 35-man group, also missed out.
The travelling party included six players plying their trade in the Premier League – goalkeeper Sergio Romero and defender Marcos Rojo from Manchester United, Chelsea stopper Willy Caballero, Manchester City duo Nicolas Otamendi and Aguero plus West Ham playmaker Manuel Lanzini.
Sampaoli said on Argentina’s official Twitter: “I tried to be as fair as possible. We came to these names after a lot of analysis in each position.
“If we are encouraged to play, we will be a complex rival for anyone.”
Argentina kick off their World Cup campaign against Iceland on June 16 before further Group D games with Croatia and Nigeria.
Argentina World Cup squad
Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Franco Armani (River Plate), Willy Caballero (Chelsea), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Federico Fazio (Roma), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Cristian Ansaldi (Inter Milan), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Javier Mascherano (Hebei China Fortune), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica), Lucas Biglia (AC Milan), Angel Di Maria (Paris St Germain), Gio Lo Celso (Paris St Germain), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham), Maxi Meza (Independiente), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus), Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors), Paulo Dybala (Juventus).
¡#Rusia2018 está en marcha! Estos son los 23 elegidos por Jorge Sampaoli para representar a la Selección Argentina en la próxima Copa del Mundo 🇦🇷 #VamosArgentina #SomosArgentina pic.twitter.com/Nd930JwQXt
— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) May 21, 2018
The World Cup. Every four years there’s a chance for the biggest names to shine on the biggest stage of all, to cement their place in history once and for all and to secure the kind of legacy the rest of us can only dream about. But football has a funny way of surprising us, not going to plan and showcasing the full range of human emotion; and that’s exactly what happened with Paul Gascoigne at Italia ’90.
Aged 23 and with the world at his feet, Gazza put in a string of virtuoso performances as a part of one of England’s greatest ever teams alongside Gary Lineker, David Platt, John Barnes and many more. Sir Bobby Robson’s Three Lions safely navigated their way through Group F after a stuttering 1-1 against Ireland in their first game was followed up by a vastly improved performance in a goalless draw with Holland and a 1-0 win over Egypt.
His joyful, fearless and carefree approach to the game won the hearts and minds of those back at home and abroad as the belief that England could win their first World Cup on foreign soil grew. But during a Second Round clash with Belgium, Gascoigne picked up a yellow card before flighting in a superb ball for Platt’s iconic volleyed winner, meaning he was just another booking away from a suspension.
Victory against a talented Cameroonian side in the quarter-finals set up a semi-final clash with West Germany in Turin, a night that would go on to define Gazza forever. A massively deflected free kick looked to be knocking England out until Lineker levelled with an 80th minute equaliser. Eight minutes into extra-time, disaster struck for Gascoigne as he lunged in Thomas Bertholt and picked up a yellow card that ensured his World Cup would end that night.
The instantly iconic tears flowed and despite Gazza’s best efforts, it would also be the end of the road for his country as West Germany progressed on penalties. But a nation had fallen in love with the archetypal English talisman and embodiment of glorious failure, tropes that still dominate the national psyche to this day.
Italia ’90 might have ended in heartbreak on the pitch but against the backdrop of toxic media coverage and the violence and tragedy that pervaded the game at home, England had fallen back in love with its national sport.