Mauro Icardi cut from Argentina’s 2018 FIFA World Cup squad
A haul of 29 goals in 34 Serie A appearances this season was not enough for Mauro Icardi to earn a place in Argentina’s 2018 FIFA World Cup squad.football Updated: May 21, 2018 23:32 IST
Mauro Icardi has not made Argentina’s final 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup but Juventus star Paulo Dybala is in.
Icardi and Dybala were omitted from Jorge Sampaoli’s selection for the March friendlies against Italy and Spain, with the Argentina boss suggesting both were in danger of missing out on Russia 2018 after failing to impress on previous call-ups.
Sampaoli’s provisional 35-man group offered hope earlier this month but Icardi’s 29 goals in 34 Serie A appearances this season – including five in his past six matches – did not amount to a persuasive enough case.
Dybala is included alongside Juve team-mate Gonzalo Higuain, while Sergio Aguero provides another enviable option up front as the Manchester City striker continues his rehabilitation from minor knee surgery.
A further alternative alongside captain Lionel Messi in attack is Boca Juniors youngster Cristian Pavon, although there is no room for either of Roma’s Diego Perotti or Racing’s reported Inter target Lautaro Martinez.
There are relatively few surprises elsewhere, with Independiente midfielder Maximiliano Meza getting the nod despite making his only senior international appearance to date in the 6-1 defeat to Spain last time out.
Sampaoli’s men have been drawn in a potentially tricky Group D alongside Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria.
Argentina’s final 23-man FIFA World Cup squad:
Franco Armani (River Plate), Willy Caballero (Chelsea), Sergio Romero (Manchester United); Marcos Acuna (Sporting CP), Cristian Ansaldi (Torino), Federico Fazio (Roma), Javier Mascherano (Hebei China Fortune), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax); Ever Banega (Sevilla), Lucas Biglia (AC Milan), Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham), Giovani Lo Celso (Paris Saint-Germain), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica); Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus),Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors)
First Published: May 21, 2018 21:58 IST