Copa America 2024 Argentina Squad Announcement: List of Players

Argentina National Football Team in Copa America 2024_

One of South America’s most vociferous international fan bases have another tournament to get excited about. 

The Copa America, also known as the CONMEBOL Copa America or South American Football Championship, is a biennial international men’s football tournament organised by the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL). It is the oldest international continental football competition and one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world.

The World Cup winners aim to continue their world domination with yet another Copa America title, led by the indomitable Lionel Messi. If they do win, they will edge ahead of Uruguay (15 titles) as the continent’s most prolific winners of the tournament. 

But who have they selected for their squad?

Goalkeepers: Franco Armani (River Plate), Geronimo Rulli (Ajax) and Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)

Defenders: Gonzalo Montiel (Nottingham Forest), Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), Leonardo Balerdi (Olympique de Marseille), Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Lucas Martinez Quarta (Fiorentina), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United), Marcos Acuna (Sevilla), Nicolas Tagliafico (Lyon) and Valentin Barco (Brighton). 

Midfielders: Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis), Leandro Paredes (Roma), Alexis Mac Allister (Liverpool), Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Exequiel Palacios (Bayern Leverkusen), Enzo Fernandez (Chelsea), Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham Hotspur), Angel Di Maria (Benfica) and Valentin Carboni (AC Monza)

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Inter Miami), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid), Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan) and Julian Alvarez (Manchester City)

Composition of the Squad

With all of the squad members playing in the top domestic leagues across Argentina, England, Spain, Italy, Germany, the world champions can call upon a strong cohort of skillful, dynamic, and well-trained athletes. 

From Messi to Garnacho and Di Maria to Julian Alvarez, the past, present, and future should combine to devastating effect. 

As always, a lot of the pressure will be on talisman Messi. But there was always going to be. He’s arguably the greatest player of all time. 

Despite playing at Inter Miami this last year, he still performs at a level his peers can only wish to reach on a regular level. He has bagged 25 goal contributions in 13 games since he signed for the Floridian franchise

In defence, they are built on the aggressive, no-nonsense approach of Lisandro Martinez and Cristian Romero. Strikers lining up against Argentina will know they have been in for a rough game after coming face to face with these two.

In midfield, Enzo Fernandez, Alex Mac Allister, and Rodrigo De Pual represent one of the most balanced midfield threes in world football, while in attack, the likes of Julian Alvarez and Alejandro Garnacho provide some depth to the obvious threat of Messi up top. 

Key Players to Watch

We have earmarked the three players who are likely to have the most impact over the summer. 

Lionel Messi

He is a winner of the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or award a record eight times

In 2012, he broke Gerd Muller’s long-standing record for most goals scored in a single calendar year by netting an incredible 91 goals in all competitions. 

He is his country’s leading all-time goalscorer, with more than 100 goals at a rate of more than one goal every other game. 

There’s nothing else he needs to prove. But can he sprinkle his stardust for what might be his last time on the international stage?

Alexis Mac Allister

Technically supreme, Mac Allister had a sensational World Cup in 2022, and provided a crucial assist in the final. 

The Liverpool midfielder has enjoyed a solid opening season since his £55 million transfer from Brighton to Liverpool last summer, with ten goals and assists across 33 appearances. 

He should prove a key pivot behind the front three. 

Rodrigo de Paul

An absolute master of the dark arts, De Paul does the dirty work so his teammates don’t have to. 

An expert at fouling players at the right time, he is adept at breaking up play and getting into the heads of his opponents. 

Don’t be surprised to see him collect the odd yellow card or two as the tournament progresses. 

Expectations for Argentina’s Performance

They are the world champions for a reason and have every chance of adding some silverware to the twilight of Messi’s international career. 

The bookmakers have Argentina as marginal favourites(17/10) ahead of Brazil (23/10) at the time of writing. They should be right there at the business end of the tournament. 

Managerial Decisions and Strategy

To think, when Argentina lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia at the 2022 World Cup, manager Lionel Scaloni was on the verge of being sacked, with his team facing an embarrassing early exit. 

Fast forward to the end of the tournament, and Scaloni is a living legend in Buenos Aires and beyond. 

Scaloni is renowned for the five second press, a technique that involves an intense press for five seconds after the team loses the ball before falling back into their defensive shape. 

That approach means his teams tend to defend higher up the pitch, and when in possession, use the imagination and brilliance of Messi and co to pick their way through. 

Fan Reactions and Excitement

From the streets to the stadiums, football is deeply ingrained in Argentine society. Children learn to play from a young age, with makeshift goals set up on every corner and in every vacant lot. And as they grow older, their love for the sport only intensifies.

It’s that deep-rooted passion in the sport that makes Argentina’s fans among the most vociferous in the world. 

Expect that passion to be on full display in the build-up to the tournament. It’s the first time fans can gloat about their World Cup win since they won it back in 2022. 

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