Lionel Messi, the best player in the world, will begin his final World Cup when Argentina take on Saudi Arabia on 22 November.
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World Soccer Hall of Fame member Lionel Messi may finally have teammates worthy of his skills, with Argentina performing well under his leadership.
Argentina finally won their first important trophy in 28 years on July, 3rd 2015. They beat Brazil 1-0, thanks to their captain Angel Di Maria’s goal to win Copa America.
They enter the game with a 36-match unbeaten streak, and are ranked 51st out of FIFA’s top 100 teams. This means they’ll have to be very prepared in order to avoid a loss.
Argentina vs Saudi Arabia lineups
Lionel Messi insists he is in “good condition” ahead of Argentina’s World Cup opener after the Paris Saint-Germain forward prompted fears by sitting out parts of his team’s training sessions.
“I think I come here in really good form both personally and physically. I have no issues whatsoever,” he told a pre-match news conference.
“I heard there were rumours about having to miss part of the training, or training apart from the team because of a blow. No, it was just precautions — nothing strange or out of the ordinary.”
Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni has explained the strains placed upon his squad by a mid-season World Cup.
“We’ve had to work very well in our training sessions so they all reach these finals in the best form possible. The issue is not that the World Cup is played in November, it’s that October was terrible,” he said.
“For those players who play in the major leagues, it was a very tough month.”
Argentina projected starting 11
(4-3-3, right to left): 23. E. Martinez (GK) — 26. Molina, 13. Romero, 19. Otamendi, 8. Acuna — 7. De Paul, 5. Paredes, 20. Mac Allister — 10. Messi, 22. Martinez, 11. Di Maria,
- Injured: Romero (muscular), Gomez (knock), Acuna (knock)
- Suspended: none
Saudi Arabia projected starting 11
(4-5-1, right to left): 21. Al Owais (GK) — 2. Al Ghannam, 3. Madu, 4. Al Amri, 13. Al Shahrani — 7. Al Faraj, 23. Kanno, 14. Otayf, 19. Bahebri, 10. Al Dawsari — 9. Al Buraikan
- Injured: none
- Suspended: none
Argentina vs Saudi Arabia World Cup squads
Here are the 26 names on each team’s squad lists at the World Cup in Qatar:
|Goalkeeper||Franco Armani||River Plate (ARG)||36||18|
|Goalkeeper||Emiliano Martinez||Aston Villa (ENG)||30||19|
|Goalkeeper||Geronimo Rulli||Villarreal (SPA)||30||4|
|Defender||Marcos Acuna||Sevilla (SPA)||30||43|
|Defender||Juan Foyth||Villarreal (SPA)||24||16|
|Defender||Lisandro Martinez||Man United (ENG)||24||10|
|Defender||Nahuel Molina||Atletico Madrid (SPA)||24||19|
|Defender||Gonzalo Montiel||Sevilla (SPA)||25||19|
|Defender||Nicolas Otamendi||Benfica (POR)||34||93|
|Defender||German Pezzella||Real Betis (SPA)||31||32|
|Defender||Cristian Romero||Tottenham (ENG)||24||12|
|Defender||Nicolas Tagliafico||Lyon (FRA)||30||42|
|Midfielder||Rodrigo De Paul||Atletico Madrid (SPA)||28||44|
|Midfielder||Enzo Fernandez||Benfica (POR)||21||3|
|Midfielder||Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez||Sevilla (SPA)||34||15|
|Midfielder||Alexis Mac Allister||Brighton (ENG)||23||8|
|Midfielder||Exequiel Palacios||Bayer Leverkusen (GER)||24||20|
|Midfielder||Leandro Paredes||Juventus (ITA)||28||46|
|Midfielder||Guido Rodriguez||Real Betis (SPA)||28||26|
|Forward||Julian Alvarez||Man City (ENG)||22||12|
|Forward||Thiago Almada**||Atlanta United (USA)||21||1|
|Forward||Angel Di Maria||Juventus (ITA)||34||124|
|Forward||Paulo Dybala||AS Roma (ITA)||28||34|
|Forward||Angel Correa*||Atletico Madrid||25||22|
|Forward||Lautaro Martinez||Inter Milan (ITA)||25||40|
|Forward||Lionel Messi||PSG (FRA)||35||165|
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