Argentina Announce Provisional 35 Man World Cup Squad

Argentina have announced their preliminary 35 man squad as preparations for the World Cup this summer begin.

They will face Haiti in a warm-up match later this month before head coach Jorge Sampaoli faces the impossible task of cutting down his star-studded line-up to just 23.

The current provisional squad boasts a wealth of attacking talent with Lionel Messi, ‘ Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain and Mauro Icardi all selected among others.

A number of Premier League players are also involved at this stage, with Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi included, along with Manchester United’s Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo, West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini and Everton centre-back Ramiro Funes Mori.

There was no room for Tottenham winger, Erik Lamela, who has spent half of the season out injured and struggled to break back into the first-team.

Former Man United player Angel di Maria also received the call up but several stars are likely to be left at home when Sampaoli names his final squad on June 4.

In the previous squad named for friendlies with Italy and Spain there was no room for Juventus striker Dybala or Inter Milan’s Icardi. The latter looks set to miss out on the final squad once again, despite his 28 goal haul in Serie A this year.

Argentina kick off their World Cup campaign in Russia with a game against Iceland on June 16.

The other two sides in their group are Croatia and Nigeria, and they will be hoping this time-out they can finally go the full distance and win.

Opportunities for Lionel Messi to win a major tournament on the international stage are running out and the 30-year-old almost hung up his boots two years ago after Argentina lost a fourth straight final in nine years.

They only just qualified for this year’s World Cup when Messi produced a masterclass performance to drag them from the clutches of humiliation in their final qualifying game.

Only a win would do going into the match against Ecuador but they went 1-0 down within minutes. As usual, Messi stepped up to the challenge, notching himself a 44th career hat-trick to seal automatic qualification.

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