Lionel Messi will form a lethal attack alongside Paulo Dybala, Lautaro Martinez and Julian Alvarez after being named in his fifth Argentina World Cup squad.
The 35-year-old will likely be competing in his last World Cup having made his tournament debut in 2006, and he’s yet to win one.
Reigning Copa America champions Argentina go into the World Cup as one of the favourites after going unbeaten in the South American qualifying table.
Incredibly, Lionel Scaloni’s side are unbeaten in their last 35 matches – a run stretching back to 2019 when Brazil knocked them out of the Copa America.
They are just two games shy of equalling Italy’s 37-game record which was set between October 2018 and October 2021.
And there is belief that Argentina can finally lift the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
Few could argue against it based on their current form and the star-studded squad they will be bringing to Qatar.
Skipper Messi goes into the World Cup in stunning form having chipped in with 12 goals and 14 assists from his 18 outings in all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain.
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He is joined by fellow forwards Dybala, who has banged in seven goals in 11 games since joining Roma in the summer.
Inter Milan ace Martinez has eight goals to his name, while Manchester City starlet Alvarez has scored seven goals under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola.
Alvarez is one of five Premier League players included in the Argentina squad.
Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has been named, along with Tottenham centre-back Cristian Romero, Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez and Brighton midfielder Alexis Mac Allister.
Argentina’s 2022 World Cup squad
- Goalkeepers: Emiliano Martinez, Franco Armani, Geronimo Rulli
- Defenders: Nahuel Molina, Gonzalo Montiel, Cristian Romero, German Pezzella, Nicolas Otamendi, Lisandro Martinez, Marcos Acuna, Nicolas Tagliafico, Juan Foyth
- Midfielders: Leandro Paredes, Guido Rodriguez, Rodrigo De Paul, Exequiel Palacios, Alexis Mac Allister, Enzo Fernandez, Angel Di María, Nico Gonzalez
- Forwards: Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Papu Gomez, Lautaro Martínez, Julian Alvarez, Joaquin Correa
Former City defender Nicolas Otamendi and United flop Angel Di Maria are also included in the squad.
As too is ex-Spurs defender Juan Foyth who has reinvented himself since departing north London for Villarreal.
England legend John Barnes has tipped Argentina to win the World Cup, while backing Messi to win the Golden Boot.
He told talkSPORT: “You ought to look at the usual suspects. You’ve got [Harry] Kane, [Kylian] Mbappe, Lionel Messi at Argentina.
“I wouldn’t say they’re dark horses because they’re one of the favourites.
“But I think that depending on how well England do, Harry Kane should be up there.
“Mbappe is obviously going to be up there as well, but Lionel Messi is my favourite player of modern times. I’ve got a sneaky feeling about Lionel.”
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