Buenos Aires: Mauro Icardi, who won the Serie A scoring crown with 29 goals for Inter Milan, was left out of the final 23-man World Cup roster announced by Argentina national coach Jorge Sampaoli.
Instead, Sampaoli on Monday opted for the Juventus duo of Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain alongside Lionel Messi and Sergio Agüero on the forward line for the tournament, which gets under way June 14 in Russia, reports Efe.
Dybala nabbed a spot on the lineup despite not having been called for recent international matches.
Franco Armani, a goalkeeper who has been a standout this year with River Plate, won a place though he wasn’t on Sampaoli’s squad for the qualifiers in this year’s friendlies.
Attracting attention among the midfielders picked by Sampaoli is Independiente’s Maximiliano Meza instead of Ricardo Centurion of Racing Club.
The team includes a total of eight players from the side that lost the 2014 World Cup final to Germany.
On May 27, Argentina will have a training session open to the public at Velez Sarsfield Stadium in greater Buenos Aires, and two days later will receive Haiti at Bombonera — the home of Boca Juniors — for a friendly that will be a farewell to its fans.
The next day Argentina will travel to Spain to continue training in Barcelona. On June 9, the team will visit Israel for a final friendly before settling at Bronnitsy, which will be its base during the World Cup in Russia.
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Wilfredo Caballero (Chelsea), Franco Armani (River Plate).
Defenders: Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Javier Mascherano (Hebei Fortune), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Federico Fazio (AS Roma), Marcos Rojo (Man United), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), Cristian Ansaldi (Torino), Marcos Acuña (Sporting Lisbon).
Midfielders: Lucas Biglia (AC Milan), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Angel di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United), Giovani Lo Celso (PSG), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors).
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Agüero (Man City), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus), Paulo Dybala (Juventus).