Argentina coach SAMPAOLI has 34 of 35 World Cup names, no Mauro ICARDI


While the deadline to submit his 35 man squad for Argentina’s World Cup campaign, a report is suggesting that coach Jorge SAMPAOLI already has a large part of that list ready with Mauro ICARDI’s name reportedly not included.

According to TyC Sports, Jorge SAMPAOLI will be travelling to Europe in the next few weeks to speak with a large number of players. He has already started speaking with players based in the domestic league. Independiente duo Fabricio BUSTOS and Maxi MEZA were the first two players to speak with SAMPAOLI and the next day it was the turn of River Plate duo Enzo PEREZ and goalkeeper Franco ARMANI.

As we reported prior to the two friendly matches last month, Franco ARMANI’s name was being rumored as one that could potentially make the Argentina squad for the World Cup. Up next for SAMPAOLI are Lautaro MARTINEZ (of Racing Club) and Boca’s Pablo PEREZ and Cristian PAVON.

In Europe, SAMPAOLI will speak travel to Spain where he will speak with Lionel MESSI, Gabriel MERCADO and Ever BANEGA. In France, it’s Giovani LO CELSO and Angel DI MARIA while in Holland it’s Nicolas TAGLIAFICO. The large part of the list comes in England where he will speak with Sergio ROMERO, Willy CABALLERO, Nicolas OTAMENDI, Ramiro FUNES MORI, Marcos ROJO, Manuel LANZINI, Erik LAMELA and Sergio AGUERO. In Italy, he’ll speak with Federico FAZIO, Lucas BIGLIA, Diego PEROTTI, Paulo DYBALA and Gonzalo HIGUAIN (no Mauro ICARDI). And finally in Portugal, Eduardo SALVIO and Marcos ACUNA.

He will NOT be travelling to Mexico but will speak with two goalkeepers; Nahuel GUZMAN and Agustin MARCHESIN. As is the case with Mexico, he will not travel to Russia but Matias KRANEVITTER, Emiliano RIGONI and Leandro PAREDES all expected to get the call with veteran Javier MASCHERANO joining the Mexico and Russia based players in the call-ups.

This would mean SAMPAOLI has 34 out of his 35 players ready:


Sergio ROMERO (Manchester United)
Franco ARMANI (River Plate)
Wilfredo CABALLERO (Chelsea)
Nahuel GUZMAN (Tigres, Mexico)
Agustín MARCHESIN (Club America)


Fabricio BUSTOS (Independiente)
Gabriel MERCADO (Sevilla)
Nicolás TAGLIAFICO (Ajax)
Nicolás OTAMENDI (Manchester City)
Ramiro FUNES MORI (Everton)
Marcos ROJO (Manchester United)
Federico FAZIO (AS Roma)


Maxi MEZA (Independiente)
Enzo PEREZ (River Plate)
Pablo PEREZ (Boca Juniors)
Ever Banega (Sevilla)
Giovani LO CELSO (PSG)
Manuel LANZINI (West Ham United)
Erik LAMELA (Tottenham)
Lucas BIGLIA (Lazio)
Diego PEROTTI (AS Roma)
Eduardo SALVIO (Benfica)
Marcos ACUNA (Sporting Lisbon)
Matías KRANEVITTER (Zenit St. Petersburg)
Emiliano RIGONI (Zenit St. Petersburg)
Leandro PAREDES (Zenit St. Petersburg)
Javier MASCHERANO (Heibei Fortune)


Cristian PAVON (Boca Juniors)
Lautaro MARTINEZ (Racing Club)
Lionel MESSI (FC Barcelona)
Sergio AGUERO (Manchester City)
Paulo DYBALA (Juventus)
Gonzalo HIGUAIN (Juventus)


  1. • as we all have read this article,its clear that this is not the official squad.

    • I just hope that sampaoli can fix the creative problem, which have been a big problem for Argentina for some years,leaving messi to create and score.

    • as much as many of us would like to see otamendi as first choice centre back,because of his athleticism, I think it would be great to have a leader of a centre back like fazio or garay next to him, would be good for Argentina ,because if we all know otamendi can sometimes make some dangerous mistakes as we have seen lately.

    • I think this is an exciting world cup for Argentina, knowing that time is against sampaoli and he’s man.




    Write in Spanish if you can or use GOOGLE TRANSLATE.


    • @Vicente Rodriguez, I certainly agree with you on BATTAGLIA. The guy has the energy, strong, he moves the ball upfield and has the vision…Masch, does not have it in his tank anymore, please help me tell Samp to take this guy…PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, TELL ME HOW CAN I GET SAMP A LETTER

  3. Lamela was poor today . Not ready for world cup. Icardi also had a below average game. We only have 23 spots and only the players who gel well ..Can play as a single unit needs to go

  4. Jorge Sampaoli’ squad

    !!!!!ONCE UPON A TIME !!!!!!!

    Argentina Announce Squad For Crucial FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifiers
    Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain was again one of the big-name absentees
    from Sampaoli’s squad, while Javier Pastore misses out due to back problems.

    Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Nahuel Guzman (Tigres), Agustin Marchesin (America)

    Defenders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Federico Fazio (Roma), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Emanuel Mammana (Zenit St Petersburg), German Pezzella (Fiorentina)

    Midfielders: Ever Banega (Sevilla), Lucas Biglia (AC Milan), Leandro Paredes (Zenit St Petersburg), Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica), Emiliano Rigoni (Zenit St Petersburg), Alejandro Gomez (Atalanta)

    Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

    Best selection IMO if some players swap like …. Lanzini in place of Rigoni / Garay in place of Mammana
    / TAGLIAFICO in place of Pezzella and Enzo PEREZ in place of Mascherano

    Also need to Added PEROTTI ,PAVON ,MARTINEZ and MEZA or A.Correa

    Hope Sampaoli remember that …. it was his first selection when he came as a coach for Argentina

  5. IMO : Icardi,A.Correa,A.Gomez, Patore, Garay,Pazzella should be in the list in place of RIGONI,HIGUAIN,FUNES MORI ,ROJO,MASCHERANO in the 35 man list

    Only good thing to see Dybala inclusion he will be in 23 man list ….any how Higuain might not be selected in 23 man squad.
    Aguero and MARTINEZ will be the first to choose I guess
    good to see Lamela as well … he is good touch for Totenham

    • Who will be 35th Player ? it might be Icardi … the list not published yet .. may be we can see some changes
      At least the four player can be call Icardi, A.Correa, A.Gomez, Garay
      Icardi and A.Gomez played good in today’s match Atalanta VS Inter

  6. I have any hope in that team at all. Its again the same old players. How can we let Garay and Icardi out of the list. Aguero won’t be fit like the last world cup and Higuain is useless. Beleive it or not I think Messi has a huge responsibility in the team selection. This is his team so he decides if he wants to be world champion or not.

    • Waste of time for u;
      As per media sources, Sampoali has his list of 34 already!!
      No Battaglia, Garay, Icardi or Ansaldi;
      Sampaoli seems to be thinking only on the attacking front;
      Too many wingers/wide players; Of which he is not sure about whom to start

    • Yeah Sampaoli is overrated, also he looks nervous and hyper by the sideline, not a calm coach who thinks tactically. He goes with emotions, and that’s a bad trait for leadership. Also, he doesn’t learn from mistakes as Sabella, a stubborn type like his previous fellows. He still believes relying on the out of form Messi will bring him victories, what a fucked up bald head!

  7. Romero caballero Armani

    Garay otamendi pezella bustos ansaldi tagliafico Mercado

    Lanzini pavon battaglia ascacibar Enzo parades meza Jonathan correa

    Messi icardi dybala aguero Martinez

    This should be our 23 man list for WC 2018 and we will win this

    • GK
      1- Romero
      2- Willy
      3- Armani

      4- Garay (CB)
      5- Otamendi (CB)
      6-Ansaldi (RB)
      7Mercado (RB/CB)
      8Tagliafico (LB)
      9Mori/Rojo (incase of injury we need good backup CB for rest of WC games)
      10Acuna (LB/LM)

      11Lanzini (RW/CAM)
      12Locelso (CDM/CM/CAM)
      Meza (LW/RW)
      Dimaria (RW/LW)
      Banega/Lamela (CAM)
      A. Correa/ Salvio(RWB/RW)
      Perroti (LW)

      Paredes/Enzo cannot be ignored (CM)

      Aguero if injured ( Icardi )

  8. I read some comments here like “Rojo can make you win a game”. Well I hope it was just a joke. His performance with his club since he joined Manchester has been just poor consistently. His match against Spain proved that his current form has nothing to do with high-level competition. If Garay not selected and anything happens to Fazio or Otamendi, I think the 1st choice is to play Mercado as CB. I actually prefer to play Biglia as CB than taking the risk to play Rojo.

    Maschereno, what a legend and what a player. But for the sake of Argentina football, he should release his place. He should feel that his performance vs Nigeria and Spain were not right. Because of his legacy, he will be included automatically within the list of 23. In the best case, he will just waste 1 place. In the worst case, if someone injured or Samp use him for tactical reason, he will probably going to cost us 1-2 goals. The guy is off from high level since a while. It’s more elegant for him to say stop now rather than trying to benefit from his last moments.

    I don’t want to be mean but having both Rojo and Maschereno as CB and DM, it’s a complete suicide. For sure will end up by another historical fiasco. Higuain’s case is slightly different. Tapia was right on his performance against Italy. He did a good match, he didn’t score despite his efforts but lot of contribution in pressing and combined well with other AM. If Samp thinks that his role is more like a hard-worker for other AM and does not rely on him to score, then I can understand his selection. But again that is very ridiculous. The primary task of a traditional forward-striker by definition is to score. Defending and creating assist are more like added value.

    Many fans here were right about Aguero. They said that Gabriel Jesus’s previous injury can potentially make him off for the world cup. So true, by playing almost all the games of City, he finally finished by being injured himself. It is not a that bad news if he cannot make it for the WC. Don’t get me wrong, Higuain and Aguero are both great club players but my best memories on them are back to the WC 2010.

    The fact is having Rojo, Maschereno, Higuain, Aguero and Di Maria in the same time on the pitch, the probably of getting smashed is so high. Why not trying young players? The downside is so limited because hard to do worse. Samp will not be blamed if he takes some risk by using young players but definitely will get smashed if he tries to play safe and lost. His job on Meza, Pavon, Bustos, Tagliafico is great, he should not give up and go back.

  9. The 34 players that was in the list doesn’t brings optimism to the fans. Too many glass made players which have habit with injured pronk problems.

    Icardi, Correa, Papu Gomez, Bataglia, Garay, was not being called is a sad news so does the call of Higuain, Masche, Biglia, Rojo did not make us happy and only brings pessimism that Arg can lift the trophy under Messi leadership and Sampaoli era. Although we still have an open option to change and call new players but the list already give indication and clear picture who will be in the last 23 and what they can acheived in Russia.

  10. This is not even close to the best possible roster.
    In defense we lack Garay, Ansaldi and Pezzela.
    Instead we get Funes Mori who has not played a game for almost 13 months and Rojo who suffered injuries and never got close to his old level.

    In midfield no calls for Papu Gomez or J. Correa.

    Upfront Icardi should be there. The competition is fierce as we have many good attackers, but Icardi would be great to have as a sub. He will attract more defenders away from Messi than Martinez.

      • If Messi prefers Funes Mori and Rojo over Garay and Pezzela, he is an idiot. Some defenders will be suspended due to yellow or red cards (e.g. Mercado and Otamendi) then Mori and or Rojo will play round of 16 or quarter final. Bye bye WC.

  11. So many people on Mundo are surprised how can Higuain go to Russia and Icardi ignored, how Biglia and Banega are still part of the team. Let me tell you something.

    Sampoali admitted that this is Messi’s team. He also said in his book that he doesn’t like planning and gets bored after reading two lines.

    I think that is enough for us to know who Sampa is.

  12. pretty good news all the losers got accumulated themselves alongside MESSI the champion i really feel sorry for him this was his best chance but sampaoli is adament .why funes mori getting chance instead of ansaldi and biglia instead of kranevitter.ansaldi and centurion would be a great addition .higuen is there aguero as well but no ikerdi is this person a coach.he will sacrifice messi’s legacy .

  13. The squad what ever it is but we need physically and mentally strong fit player who played 7 games with 100% energy with their heart and soul..and the 1at eleven also formed with young players and mixing with experience of Messi otamendi need of Di Maria aguero biglia.And throw out higuain from Argentina territory…

    • If he cannot make it, won’t be a very bad thing. I really believe that Messi and him are not that compatible as Aguero is becoming more like a playmaker/forward, position-wise too similar to Messi. He’s also not a fast and mobile player, I think Messi will be much better when he has Pavon, Meza, Acuna, Lanzini that kind of players around him.

  14. No Icardi, Garay, A. Correa, J. Correa, Ansaldi, and even Dybala is uncertain. Messi and his buddies as starters.

    Somebody mentioned that Cristiano is on his way to glory, I’m sorry to tell you he is now above Messi scientifically, logically, and statistically. Messi will never win a world cup with this mentality and favoring friends philosophy besides he lacks leadership skills. He’s a family guy and after having 3 boys, his magic is declining gradually, not to mention getting older. Natural footballer that doesn’t work much on improving his fitness level through strength training. His last CL game was absurd as he didn’t get himself involved in the game and wanted a miracle to happen. It reminded me of QF game against Germany in 2010.

    • You guys will always blame messi because he is not outspoken as Penaldo who cheats for glory.Remember one thing it is a tragedy that except pep messi never got a proper manager who could turn the things .Pep is feeling the need for messi in his team ,penaldo just lucky but remember messi has 2/3 years and still messi is the best.he plays as 10 creates and scores Penaldo don’t have the guts to come to midfield sits there in the box.
      Every football pundit praises messi as the goat just remember the years of roger federer you will get the answer.

      • We can praise Messi, but discrediting/saying lucky about Ronaldo’s achievements is absurd; That guy has performed year after year when the team needs the most; His Champions League performances especially in Knock out stages is on another Level; He scored in every single champions league match this season; That is insane;

        Messi always struggled to score in away matches & knock out rounds (even in Xavi-Iniesta era); 5 Yrs back ballond’or ratio used to be like 4:1 & now it is 5:5; Ronaldo is certainly on the way to win one more (if RM wins CL which certainly looks like); There are very slim chances for Messi now as ARG winning the World Cup looks like a distant dream;

        • Check your stats before you speak.

          Before 2015 he didn’t have a hattrick CL. Scored vs Ajax. Until 2017 he was flopping vs teams in Semi-Finals ( no bayern goals in 2014 doesn’t count has the game was over thanks to ramos 3-0 in favor of Madrid wne ronaldo scored).

          You people seem to have short term memories. in 2016 he was scoring tons vs shit teams and flopping vs decent teams. same was in 2015 and 2014. since 2017 he started scoring vs big teams at crucial moments.

          BTW goals aren’t everything. Rewatch the Barca vs juventus 3-0 match last year when Messi created 3 1-1 opportunites for Barca players and all of them missed.

          • CL Knockout Round goals CR7 – 54 in 68 games & LM10 – 37 from 58 games; CR7 scored more goals against Bayern, Juventus & Atletico in CL; That is not just lucky;

            In last year’s CL, against Juve & PSG Messi’s performances were way below par; That’s a fact; I am a Messi fan too but in past 3 years his performances in CL are on downside; especially in knockout rounds against big teams; He is not motivated enough and lack of desire is clearly seen;

  15. Premier League is so intensive that I won’t be surprised if Aguero and Lanzini couldn’t recover in time. Salvio is another uncertainty too. Glad to see enzo made his comeback. He was missed against Spain.

    Icardi for sure has his added value. He can step in as a sub and score on a corner. Same for Dybala who may score in short time, even though I don’t see them in the starting XI.

    I am happy for Pavon, Meza and Lautaro. To me, Pavon and Lautaro can create better partnership with Messi than Aguero or Higuain because they are faster, run more and let Messi rest from time to time. Meza is the backup solution if anything happens to Lanzini. Similar profile can play winger and AM.

  16. Shame on the mafia inside Argentina team that does not allow the coaches to do their job.
    Mascherano needs to go immediately.
    Injured Aguero, Unpredictable Maria, Unstable Higuain, Slow Biglia, aged Mascherano will not help our world cup cause… hope Messi realizes it. If he doesn’t.. im sure Cristiano will bag the world cup for sure and become the greatest player ever. Already he is on the road to glory after Messi decided to finish his career after taking the ‘friends’ path.
    Maradona drugs. Messi friends. all the same.
    The one who is affected in both cases is Argentina and us fans.

  17. Romero is first choice and will probably play all matches. is there so much experimentation required for second and third choice? Also 5 in 35 looks like two spots unnecessary wasted. If one or two def is injured then we have to rely on MF.

    Infear far too many injury prone players and players haven’t played much this season would limit sampaoli options in tournament.

  18. Shame but not a big surprise for Icardi, Garay and Battaglia. The only real disappointment is Joaquin Correa … the only thing I am happy is about Dybala’s inclusion.

  19. Nice reading posts of fellow albiceleste fans here. Luv the passion & energy the group brings in . IMO a few key points crucial to a great memorable run in Russia
    1) Messi should come in fresh & burning with energy . If yes , Messi should be able to take his magic to the knockout rounds & atleast end the perennial Maradona debate. I think the CL exit & Barca leadership in La Liga will help. CL was not just 3 matches . It would sap physical & mental energy of the best .
    2) i think the biggest deciding factor where destiny will have a role to play is the physical condition of our other key stars – Sad to see Di Maria, Aguero , Salvio , Lanzini breaking down after 1-2 games consistently . Hope Meza is not an addition to this regular injury list with his recent hamstring. But if these 5 enter WC in full physical fitness/form & god willing last a month with no breakdowns , Argentina will surely be the best in business. Think of Messi , Aguero & Di Maria in full flow with no injuries in knockout – no one dare stop us then. Salvio & Lanzini are also key stars in our formation . I personally think Salvio solves our entire issues in right midfield & hope he has no injury this time
    3) Banega & Di Maria should be our super subs. Preserve them well for knockouts & unleash them in knockouts as supersubs.
    4) Bring back Garay & he will be the messiah of defense is not a story i will buy. Garay at best is a decent defender TODAY in La Liga. Is he among top 5 CBs in La Liga currently ? Definitely not. Valencia playing well is to do with many other players & their coach’s formations . We are going too much by Garay’s legacy where he was one of the best CBs in 2014. He has lost a lot of sheen with time (i will still bet on younger Rojo who can get back to his best with some match time experience which he is clearly lacking across last 1 year. ) . For me Garay or Pezella – i don’t think will make a difference in final 23.
    5) our defense will automatically look much better once there is more fluidity & mobility in midfield which is our core weakness.
    6) Desperately hoping Sampaoli experiments with Ascacibar . He has picked some good experience in Bundesliga in last 6 months & playing with lot of discipline now. Anyday will be a better option to Biglia & has started looking a very key player for VfB Stuttgart. Our midfield needs 1 DM for sure.
    7) In a 2-4-4 , my midfield reads Acuna- Lanzini- Biglia ( more of a forced option)- Salvio . Di Maria , Banega, Meza & LoCelso can be the subs with Di Maria definitely playing 2nd half. I believe coach should use Acuna more & he is terrific midfielder . He is wasted as a defense sub to Tagliafico.
    8) Pls retain Bustos. He is good & will improve with exp. For now Mercado can cover him
    9) the third goalkeeper debate is irrelevant as that position will be a benchwarmer only.
    10) Agree with majority that Higuaín is not the guy . But i will still want to keep him in final 23 for his sheer experience. We can atleast count on him for group matches.

    • Concurr nearly wiz all of your remarks except that i w’d like either e. Perez, celso or Banega to partner Biglia in the Mid not Lanzini. Basically the team that outplayed equader should be the best 11 barring Maschie and Bendetto. Fazio can step up for the former and Pavon/Perotti for Bendetto which both of them can assisst the weakest line of the team(Right side) also creating more liberity for Leo to play close as false 9.

  20. Only 7 defenders mean that they all will go to world cup. Congrats!

    8 Midfielders are very tough to select. I hope we can exclude Mascherano. I know Mascherano has enough world cup experience and he is important to our team, but it’s not worth including him at the cost of not having Lanzini or Paredes at the world cup.

    (I like Banega, Lo Celso, Di Maria, Enzo Perez, Paredes, Lanzini, Acuna, Biglia)

    5 fowards will be Messi, Arguero, Dybala, Higuain and Pavon. ( I like them)

  21. .Dybala will also left out among 23 squad and once again argentina will rely on 2 unfit players in aguero(physically) & higuain(mentally) to score goals.
    even bauza who we thought was the worst brought in pratto & alario two good scorers.

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