Buenos Aires, May 15 (IANS): Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi and young Racing Club striker Lautaro Martinez were among 35 players named in Argentina’s provisional World Cup squad.
Icardi, who has played only four matches for his country since his debut in 2013, was on Monday rewarded for a superb 28-goal season in Italy’s Serie A championship, reports Xinua news agency.
Martinez, 20, has netted 20 goals in 26 appearances across all competitions for Racing in 2017-18. The tally includes five in as many matches in the Copa Libertadores, South America’s top club competition.
As expected, the Albiceleste squad includes FC Barcelona’s five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain, Hebei China Fortune midfielder Javier Mascherano and Manchester United center-back Marcos Rojo.
AC Milan midfielder Lucas Biglia was named despite suffering a recent back injury.
There was also a spot for uncapped River Plate goalkeeper Franco Armani, who joined the Buenos Aires club in January from Colombia’s Atletico Nacional amid reports he could seek Colombian nationality.
Argentina coach Jorge Sampoli will trim his squad to 23 by June 4.
The two-time World Cup winners will begin their campaign in Russia against Iceland on June 16. They will also face Croatia and Nigeria in the group stage.
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero, Nahuel Guzman, Willy Caballero, Franco Armani.
Defenders: Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi, Federico Fazio, NicolAs Tagliafico, Marcos Rojo, Marcos Acuna, Ramiro Funes Mori, Cristian Ansaldi, Eduardo Salvio, German Pezzella.
Midfielders: Javier Mascherano, Angel Di Maria, Ever Banega, Lucas Biglia, Manuel Lanzini, Gio Lo Celso, Ricardo Centurion, Guido Pizarro, Leandro Paredes, Maximiliano Meza, Enzo Perez, Pablo Perez, Rodrigo Battaglia.
Forwards: Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Mauro Icardi, Cristian Pavon, Lautaro Martinez, Diego Perotti.