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World Cup 2018: Messi and Aguero in Argentina squad but Icardi out

Argentina are aiming for a third World Cup success in Russia



Forwards Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain have all been included in Argentina's 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia.

But Serie A's joint top scorer, Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi, is left out.

Aguero is joined by five other Premier League players including Manchester City team-mate Nicolas Otamendi.

West Ham's Manuel Lanzini, Manchester United pair Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo, and Chelsea's Willy Caballero are the other England-based players.

Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori, who made only four first-team appearances last season because of injury, has been left out, having been named in manager Jorge Sampaoli's provisional squad.

Argentina begin their World Cup campaign against Iceland on 16 June before games against Croatia and Nigeria in Group D.

They almost failed to qualify for the finals in Russia, before a hat-trick from Barcelona forward Messi in their final qualification game.

Despite fielding a number of Europe's best attacking players, Sampaoli's side only scored 19 goals in 18 qualifying matches.

Icardi has been left out despite scoring 29 goals in 34 games in Italy's top flight this season.


Argentina squad

Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Willy Caballero (Chelsea), Franco Armani (River Plate).

Defenders: Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Federico Fazio (Roma), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Nicolas Taglafico (Ajax), Javier Mascherano (Hebei Fortune), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon), Cristian Ansaldi (Torino).

Midfielders: Ever Banega (Sevilla), Lucas Biglia (AC Milan), Angel Di Maria, Giovani Lo Celso (both Paris St-Germain), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham), Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica).

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala (both Juventus), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City).

-- Courtesy of BBC Sport


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