Argentina team announced, Lionel Messi out, Emiliano Buendia included


Lionel Messi is not part of the Argentina national team for the January and February World Cup qualifiers.

Argentina national team coach has announced his list for the World Cup qualifying matches and as expected, Lionel Messi is not selected. He will instead remain with PSG. Scaloni has selected Alexis Mac Allister of Brighton and Emiliano Buendia of Aston Villa.

Cristian Romero of Tottenham Hotspur is not part of the team as he has just started training with his club. He has not played since Argentina’s 0-0 draw against Brazil in November.

The Copa America champions are already qualified for the 2022 Qatar World Cup. They play Chile away on January 27 and Colombia on February 1 at home.

Here are the list of names for the matches:

Franco Armani (River Plate)
Esteban Andrada (Monterrey)
Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)
Juan Musso (Atalanta)

Nahuel Molina (Udinese)
Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla)
Lucas Martinez Quarta (Fiorentina)
German Pezzella (Real Betis)
Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica)
Lisandro Martinez (Ajax)
Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax)
Marcos Acuna (Sevilla)

Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina)
Lucas Ocampos (Sevilla)
Leandro Paredes (PSG)
Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis)
Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid)
Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham Hotspur)
Alejandro Gomez (Sevilla)
Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton)
Emiliano Buendia (Aston Villa)

Angel Di Maria (PSG)
Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid)
Julian Alvarez (River Plate)
Lautaro Martinez (Inter)
Joaquin Correa (Inter)
Paulo Dybala (Juventus)


  1. Good list, Lio needs a break to get his PSG career going while Ocampos’s return to the NT is well deserved. Buendia and Alexis are both starting to take off at the EPL so I have no problem with them being called up, especially with Buendia showing his ability on the left side, which means he can back up Ocampos and Nico Gonzalez…or challenge them!
    Alexis has a similar playing style to Lo Celso and De Paul (creative, attacking style that doesn’t shy away from the defensive dirty work) and I really think he may make a good sub in the midfield, especially with Celso struggling constantly with injuires (he really MUST leave s***spurs ASAP!).
    I know alot of you are asking for Manu Lanzini and Gio simeone but I think the former needs to prove his fitness while the latter needs to prove his consistency infront of goal, so in the mean time I have no problem with them being left out.
    Senesi and Benitez continue to be ignored, which is very sad because they’re both worthy of a call up.
    While I am very happy with the midfield that Argentina has right now, I was hoping either Zaracho or Palavicino would get a nod, considering their fantastic form and the fact that both are the b-2-b type that the team could use more of, because right now, if De Paul (or Celso) get injured I don’t see who can properly replace them, so I really hope Scaloni will use those remaining matches to explore backup options in the midfield.

    I heard some of you wondering about Nico Dominguez and Palacios and thought I’d update you all: Palacios is having reoccuring back problems due to the spinal fracture he suffered in the WCQ last year, hence why he isn’t even on the bench for NEVERkusen.
    As for Nico, well apparently he’s been suffering from severe shoulder pain and needs an operation (explains why his form has dipped during the last 2 weeks) but because he’s so important for Bologna, the staff asked him to delay the op until after this weekend’s game, so Nico might be out for several months sadly. On the positive side of things, the WC isn’t until the summer so he still has a solid chance of making the team.

  2. Ocompas is now playing better in sevilla, so now the time to use him this is a good call.
    So give him more time against chilli as left winger.

    Against chilli my eleven will be ….

    Emi martinez

    Nico otamendi
    Licha martinez


    Louarto martinez

  3. Remove ( pezzella,LMQ,)
    Include (Foyth,sensi)
    As CB position foyth can play as both position. .

    In mid (depaul,paredes,celso) are the first choice as this three are playing well together, their substitutes are (papu,guido,lanzini) these three will be better than others. .actually palacio are not playing well with NT, so its the time to give chance to lanzini, Macallister will not able to play role as CM and Buendia,ocompas,nico they are the winger. So lanzini will be much better than those as CM and box to box ..

    So scolani please give him chance lets see lanzini chemistry will NT

  4. Actually I don’t think that most of our key players are in a bad form like some suggest here:
    – Messi still adapting to his new team, so not at his best yet but he should improve
    – Di Maria is as good as ever. No way he is in a bad form. He is NOT declining at all.
    – De Paul not as good as his Udinese days but that is because his role is changed. But no way Atletico thinks that he is a bad signing.
    – Lautaro is in a GOOD form, one of the best serie A forwards.
    – Lo Celso. A lot of you say he is in a bad form, but as someone who watches 100% of all Spurs games this season. I say he is OK. NOT spectacular like his Betis days but not bad. If you just read the news of Spurs related news, 99% of them would say that Lo Celso has been horrible that is because they expect him to be someone Lo Celso can never be: A productive midfielder who will have a lot of goals and assists like Bruno Fernandes of MU. Lo Celso is never such a player. He is just a good teammate who works well with stars.

    So I don’t think he is in a bad form.

    – Cuti Romero is in a good form. Not as good as his Atalanta form, but he already leads the major defensive statistics in all 5 major European leagues. That is pretty good for someone who is still adapting.

    – Nico Otamendi is in a good form. He is reborn.

    – Acuna is the best player of the second place of la liga Sevilla this season.

    – Molina has improved a lot compared to last season.

    – Emi Martinez form is declining but he looks like Argentina best goalie of all time when playing for Argentina. That is all that matters.

    – Paredes has been mostly injured and has to rotate with other PSG midfielders. He is doing OK.

    Other regulars like Papu, Nico Gonzales, A Correa, Dybala, Palacios also doing pretty good so far. Only Tagliafico, Pezzella, and J Correa who have seemed to lose their starting spots.

    Now the only ones who deserve the call up who are not called up are Senesi, Walter Benitez, and Manuel Lanzini. I don’t see any other names.

  5. Rule number 1 in GK selection, pick the two best goalkeepers and a third who is not the next best but help in the locker roon with good spirit, and dont cry if wont play cause he wont at all, so choose a south american based is better than a Rulli or Walter Benitez with big ego.

    • Well said, if Emi gets injured then Musso will take over and it is unlikely for both to get injured (goalkeepers get injured less often anyway). The fourth keeper is there for symmetry in training to make it more efficient.

      An unrelated but helpful example I have comes from a documentary series called “All or Nothing” about Juventus. Camera crews go into the locker room after games and you get a picture of everything that goes on on or off the pitch. They did a section focusing on the 3rd keeper “Pinsoglio” who never plays but has a great personality and mentally helps his team mates and gives speeches of encouragement. You get an insight into just how important these characters are off the field. The mental aspect of the game is almost as important as the physical aspect, without it you can not win such a stressful and pressure inducing tournament as the World Cup. That is part of the reason why River (where Armani plays) does so well in knock out competitions, there is a huge emphasis on the mental side of the game and giving as much effort as you possibly can even when things seem impossible which makes them possible, he brings a slice of that into the national team. That is the safest and most logical thing to assume.

        • Of course I do not know him personally or have ever been inside the locker room, but I have seen him multiple times give speeches to the rest of the team before games in a huddle and he is the captain at River, so I would assume that he can bring that to the national team as well to some extent

  6. Marcos Senesi is much better than Pezzella and Martinez Quarta. Juaquin Cirrea is a surplus for me. Instead I would go for Giovanni Someone or instead bring on Lanzini as midfielder. Nicholas Gonzalez is a big No for me. He has never improved.

  7. Non local player ;

    Team A (4231)
    Emi Martinez
    Molina-Ottamendi-cuti romero-acuna
    Paredez-di paul
    Dimaria-messi-lo celso
    Lautaro martinez

    Team B (4231)
    Montiel-pezella-lisandro martinez-tagliafico
    Guido rodriguez-ezequel palacios
    Angel correa-Dybala-Papu Gomez
    Joachin correa

    Team C (4231)
    Walter benitez
    Foyth+martinez quarta-senesi-facundo medina
    Ascacibar-nico dominguez
    Ocampos- buendia- nico gonzalea
    Giovani sineone

    Team D 4231
    Geronino rully
    Nahuen perez, franco russo-balerdi- j. Silva
    Bataglia – gonzalo escalante
    Matias soule + -lanzini- mccalister
    Lucas boye

    • Intresting indeed ! A 4 very competive teams in over all i would say !
      But, what about swapping Pezzella from team B for Senesi from team C ?
      And maybe also even it is a bit of risk of ”ego clash” swapping Benitez from team C for Musso from team B ?

      And also i would swap ultimatly Lisandro from team B to team A, but not sure yet who i will remove to team B ? Anyhow thanx for great work done by you !

  8. Best 7 players for Argentina midfield
    1 De Paul
    2 Manuel Lanzini
    3 Paredes
    4 Lo Celso
    5 G. Rodriguez
    6 Papu Gomez
    7 Palacios
    Best 7 forward player
    1 Messi
    2 Di Maria
    3 Dybla
    4 Lautaro Martinez
    5 Angel Correa
    6 Emi Buendia
    7 N. Gonzalez

  9. Well, it was bound to happen at some point and its better to rest him now and see what the rest of the squad do……..and playing DIRTY Shitchile at their home proves its a good decision.
    Said it one, said a 1000times, when will Dybala show us what he got?!! and for all the other young players………..make a good impression and earn a spot or at least a consideration for the future.

  10. Nico dominguez isn’t injury i watched him coming in as sub three days ago vs napoli and he wasn’t injury before.
    I believe it’s more technical issue than him been injury.

  11. Armani!!!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣
    & what about some rumers since some days!! 🤭🤭🤭🤭
    I just wonder how strong the lobbing of Armani in NT! 😯😯 How this shit is selected again & again?!

    • You mean so and so excelling in Scalon’s bed? That’s Romance KING style “humor”, i.e. not funny…

      I think like most coaches Scaloni selects some based on loyalties and not just merit. Plus there must be a certain presence from a local league. This might sound like a conspiracy theory or a knock on Argentine League, but I am not knocking on it, I love and respect that competition but sometimes you wonder about some call-ups.

      • If Meza could have called up then it was obvious reasons, Calling 4 GK unnecessary it seems Armani name selected as 4th one always due to chemistry.

      • Dear Enganche, pls don’t give any very lame & absurding excuse for selecting an asshole like Armani & few! Thats it..
        These r typical Argentine selection, we r used to see this kind of shit selection decade to decade. So?? The result is A VERY LONG TROPHY DRAUGHT??!! Right?? down man!
        If u want to win wc, ur selection should be more & more smart-smarter-smartest..ok my dear??

        • Armani is ashole? why? what he did to you? you lose any trophy because of him? i don t remember something like that. Just OPPOSITE i remember very well that almost everybody before world cup of 2018 crying to take the place of Caballero as starter. for not mention what happened after the idiotic mistake in game with Croatia. Armani is ashole? you should cool down not my friend Enganche. Armani deserve RESPECT for everything he offer to the national team all this years (little or much). in the other side you didn t offer anything. just hate and bad kind of critics.
          Armani is not ashole. You are ashole because of not respect. ok my dear?

        • Just to get your gears turning a bit. We won the Copa America with Armani in the squad. That was six months ago. It is not a serious threat to our ability to perform well in the WC

  12. Has anyone seen Buendia play in a central midfield role? I’ve seen him only as a right wing forward, left wing forward or a number 10. Never seen him play deeper. Perhaps he can do a decent job there as many people here assume. For me the jury is still out on that.

  13. I think armani will be there for the WC. After what happend to us at 2018. Romero injury and playing 2 GK who never played for Arg… Scaloni will go with. Emi martinez musso and armani as 3rd Gk.

  14. Realistically, the one player I expect to get the major minutes is not Buendia or Ocampos, it is Lisandro Martinez. It is the perfect timing for him to show to the coach that without Cuti Romero, Nicolas Otamendi’s partner is wide open. German Pezzella has to compete with him for the starter.

    If in these 2 matches Licha can convince the coach that he is as good as what Ajax thinks of him, then that is a massive addition for us.

  15. Anyone tracking latest progress of Giuliano simeone ( diego’s third son). There was lot of positive reviews he got in preseason like matias soule. I am assuming he must be in atleti b team or so. Any updates?

  16. I am SUPER glad with the list. So relieved that he did not call up all B tier players as rumored. First of all I read is that NO regular players want to miss the match. So that shows how much they love the seleccion. Then I was worried that the exclusion of Messi would mean the inclusion of many the B tier players, I am happy that is not the case.

    Those who really want the new players to be called up. I just want to tell you, there is NO point doing that. Even with the current squad (Copa America squad + the latest Qualifying matches squad), some regular players will eventually be left out. I repeat LEFT OUT! I mean Scaloni can not bring everyone to the World Cup. So what is the point of calling up more new players?

    I am glad that the new ones are only Ocampos, MacAllister, and Buendia. Just 3 not 8-9 like what was reported.

    As for the matches themselves, even without Messi, Argentina should not take it lightly. The last time Messi was unavailable, Dybala was the one replacing him. Maybe it will be the same this time. Others, I expect the regular starters to keep their starting spots.

    As for the trio new comers. All I read is:
    1. Buendia is the replacement or Palacios as he is injured.
    2. MacAllister is the replacement of Nico Dominguez who is also injured.
    3. Ocampos is purely the new one replacing no one.

    I personally think it is unlikely for the 3 to take part in the matches as ahead of MacAllister, there are De Paul, Lo Celso, Papu Gomez are ahead of them in pecking order. Meaning that the first replacement of Lo Celso and De Paul is Papu Gomez.

    As for Ocampos and Buendia, ahead of them there are Di Maria, Nico Gonzales, Joaquin Correa, Angel Correa, and Julian Alvarez or even Dybala. So it is hard to think how they will be ahead of them.

    I don’t believe Scaloni will experiment with the new players, if he was thinking about experimenting, he wouldn’t have called up the regular players in the first place.

    • I just want to clarify that when talking about “b team players” this is what most people are referring to. Not a major overhaul of the team with 8-9 players. Experimenting does not warrant or require getting rid of regular players like you mention, in fact the key to experiment properly for the WC is to keep our strong core of players and test some new things out with other back up players or out of form players surrounding them. In fact, the talk of Meza, Lanzini, Simeone, etc was just the preliminary list to begin with

  17. Where is Manuel Lanzini he is among the top 5 talent for Argentina.
    1 Messi
    2 Emi Martinez
    3 C. Romero
    4 De Paul
    5 Manuel Lanzini

    Scaloni please call him,he is best to play as left winger or in left midfield. These 5 can not be replaced by anyone. No one is as clinical as Lanzini inside the box and his creativity outside the box is phenomenal. Argentina is missing a vital peace.

      • Yeah I have made a couple of first grade spelling errors and only notice after I post the comment. I am used to editing it right after and adding more lol. Let’s hope it doesn’t have the same fate as the ignore button

  18. Overall I like the list, I like the inclusions of Mac Allister, Buendia, and Ocampos. I think we may have to accept that at least one of to all of Armani, Andrada, and Pezzella are going to the World Cup, unless 1) they perform disastrously and get dropped or 2) the invisible hand intervenes. Then again I think they may be here more for there role in the locker room

      • They are obviously called up for some sort of reason, that is the safest thing to assume. None of us have been with the team in the locker room so how would we know? Messi and Di Maria are not outspoken personalities

      • yep I can clearly See romero suspended for the quarter final because of yellow cards and pezella replacing him against mbappe , GOD save the king , he doesn’t even start for his club , We need to give time to the likes of licha and senesi or another cabellero type disaster could happen in key games

  19. I can’t believe this, why not selected sensei, lanzini,simone,walter benitez,geronimo rulli. They performed very well but armani,and andreda, jaqueen correa, german pazella getting chance. But why scoloni give them chance,.may be 2022 world cup nothing to do at Qatar.

  20. Scaloni is more reserved in his selection that we expect sometimes. Meza? What Meza?

    For a striker he clearly thinks it’s between Lautaro, Joaquin, and possibly Dybala and Alvarez even though only Lautaro is more of a no 9 (not pure even in his case). I would have liked to see Gio Simeone called.

    Strange that Nico Dominguez is dropped in favor of Alexis MacAllister.

    The defender call-up is the most conservative it seems. Medina and Perez did not make it as previously reported.

    Finally, Armani and Andrada not my cup of tea, we have better options.

    All in all, Scaloni seems to value familiarity, continuity and chemistry more than some of us thought.

    • I think that Meza (among Simeone, Lanzini, Soule) were in a pre-list and didn’t make the cut, kind of like we saw before the Copa America. Nico Dominguez I believe is injured and I doubt he would drop him given how good he’s been playing. Same with Palacios, injured and missing some games. I have at this point accepted the Armani, Andrada, Pezzella thing

        • I doubt they will play regardless, as long as we have other better players as back ups even if our starters get injured they won’t play (Musso, Lisandro, Medina) so it shouldn’t have a bearing on our field performance

          • Lisandro should surely start no matter what if not cb position play him as a cdm. He is surely better than paredes plus playing regularly for ajax

      • My understanding is emi Buendia will be one the midfielders. Possibly will be left side of the three midfielders mainly lo celso’s position.
        I hope scaloni covers him as midfielder just the way did to de Paul in the past
        De Paul………………. Buendia

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