Lionel Messi spearheads Argentina's 23-man 2018 World Cup squad as Mauro Icardi misses out

Sport360 staff 22:41 21/05/2018
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Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi has been left out of Argentina‘s 23-man World Cup squad.

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.

Jorge Sampaoli

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).

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