Hasta El Gol Siempre

Jorge Sampaoli calls up non-Argentine based players for friendlies with Spain and Italy

The AFA's squad list for upcoming friendlies (image from afa.org.ar)


On Thursday, Jorge Sampaoli announced the first part of Argentina’s squad for the upcoming friendies against Italy (in Manchester on the 23rd March) and Spain (in Madrid on the 27th). This list consists of twenty-two players who play outside Argentina (all but one in Europe), to whom a few from the Argentine Superliga will be added at a later date. The headline is that Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi aren’t included, but Sampaoli explained that those two, along with Atalanta’s Alejandro Gómez, ‘are players we know well, who aren’t going through the best moment their clubs, and we want to have a look at other players and compare them. That they haven’t been called up now doesn’t mean they can’t make the World Cup squad.’

Sergio Romero (Manchester United)
Nahuel Guzmán (Tigres)
Willy Caballero (Chelsea)

Marcos Rojo (Manchester United)
Ramiro Funes Mori (Everton)
Federico Fazio (Roma)
Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City)
Marcos Acuña (Sporting CP)
Eduardo Salvio (Benfica)*
Nicolás Tagliafico (Ajax)
Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla)

Javier Mascherano (Hebei China Fortune)
Leandro Paredes (Zenit St. Petersburg)
Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United)
Giovanni Lo Celso (Paris Saint-Germain)
Lucas Biglia (AC Milan)
Éver Banega (Sevilla)
Ángel Di María (Paris Saint-Germain)

Gonzalo Higuaín (Juventus)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Sergio Agüero (Manchester City)
Diego Perotti (Roma)

*I know Salvio is a winger, but he’s in the AFA’s list as a defender, so if that’s what Sampaoli’s calling him up to do …