Lionel Messi finally succeeded with Argentina internationally. One reward is unclaimed. The 2021 Copa América final triumph against Brazil ended nearly a decade of international suffering. Messi won a big prize for the first time with his national team.
Messi has disappointed Argentina supporters in five Copa Americas and four World Cups. After winning an international title, Messi wants the ultimate prize. This may be his final chance to win, and he may have the squad to accomplish it.
La Albiceleste and Brazil stayed undefeated in 17 World Cup qualifying matches, allowing only eight goals. Argentina had 35 undefeated games, two shy of Italy’s global record (2018-2021). After years of turmoil, quarrelling, and fractured squads, a stable team around Messi, travels to Qatar as a favourite.
Argentina Group C Schedule (All Times Eastern)
- Saudi Arabia, Nov. 22, 05:00 A.M.
- Mexico, Nov. 26, 02:00 P.M.
- Poland, Nov. 30, 02:00 P.M.
Argentina Team Coach Name
- Coach Name: Lionel Scaloni, hired in November 2018
Players to Watch: Lionel Messi (Forward)
Despite his late age, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is still unrivaled as a game-changer. When Messi has the ball at his feet, he’s unstoppable. He terrifies the opposing team’s defence with his unique understanding of the game and ability to use it, whether gliding past opponents or delivering perfect line-breaking passes.
There is no tactical response for Messi when he is at his best, as he was for most of the Copa América and has seemed to be with PSG this season. You can only watch and pray that he doesn’t break the record of 90 goals he already has for the Argentine national team.
Players to Watch: Emi Martínez (Goalkeeper)
The Aston Villa goalkeeper reached a new level of performance during the club’s run in the Copa América. Martnez stopped all three of Colombia’s penalty kicks in Argentina’s dramatic semifinal win and made four crucial stops to preserve the shutout in the championship match against Brazil.
He also proved he wasn’t afraid to engage in some trash-talking, and now he captains a tenacious Argentina defence. Less than a month before Argentina’s opening, he sustained a brain injury, but he should be OK to play in Qatar.
Players to Watch: Lautaro Martínez (Striker)
The Argentine attack’s focal point is continuing its upward trend. Once again, Martnez is one of the league’s top scorers after netting a career-high 21 goals for Inter’s previous season in Serie A. In this World Cup, he will be in charge of leading the Argentina offence.
Martnez is a fantastic goal scorer, as seen by his recent performance with the national squad (seven goals and three assists in 14 qualifiers). With Argentina’s offence working, chances for him to score goals will be plenty.
Breakout Candidate: Cristian Romero (Center Back)
The Argentines’ defence has become much more formidable with the addition of the Tottenham player. The speed with which he adapted to the Premier League last year shows that he can succeed at any level, as does his reputation for aggressive runs off the back line (and even more forceful tackles).
The 24-year-old played with Real Betis centre defender Germán Pezzella for the first time for the national squad at the Copa América.
Romero played practically every World Cup qualifier in which he was eligible after his success in that tournament (and after a great season at Spurs). He has been plagued by injuries leading up to Qatar, but he should be able to fill in admirably as Argentina’s starting center-back with Nicolás Otamendi.