It has been a long while for Argentina since their World Cup winning days of Maradona. Their recent performances have gotten people talking about a possible World Cup 2014 winner. Argentina has always played impressive football, but 2014 will see them with an almost home advantage with the tournament hosted in neighbouring Brazil. The current squad contains a number of quality players who may have what it takes to lift the next World Cup trophy.
GK: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria)
Romero has played club football in Argentina, Holland, where he won the 2008-09 season with AZ Alkmaar, and Italy. Romero was first choice keeper for Argentina in the 2010 World Cup and 2011 Copa America.
DF: Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City)
Zabaleta has proven to be a capable defender in recent seasons for Manchester City, and can play as a wide defender or even defensive midfielder. The Argentine has also managed to score a number of crucial goals.
DF: Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle United)
Since arriving at Newcastle in 2008, Coloccini has become one of the most feared central defenders in the Premier League. He has earned the captain’s armband and now leads his club not only in defence but also on and off the field.
DF: Federico Fernandez (Getafe)
Under Walter Mazzarri at Napoli, Fernandez has proven to be a strong tackler and great defender. Fernandez is currently on loan to Getafe in Spain. The young Argentine has also impressed with his ability to score goals with his head from set pieces. Fernandez is slowly making a name for himself in the Argentine national team.
DF: Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisbon)
After a season at Spartak Moscow Rojo transferred to Sporting in 2012. He has fitted in well into the centre-back position and will be a first-team favourite in no time. It is excellent for Argentine to have young defenders they can begin to introduce into the squad ahead of the 2014 World Cup.
DM: Fernando Gago (Velez Sarsfield)
Gago has played football for Boca Juniours, Real Madrid, Roma, Valencia, and is currently on loan in Argentina. The defensive midfielder is well known for his great game reading and ball movement. Gago has been a team mate of Messi and Aguero since they were younger in Argentina, friendship like this is crucial to building a great squad.
DM: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona)
Masherano has been regarded as one of the best central midfielders in the world. He has been a crucial player for Barcelona’s success in recent seasons, and is capable of fitting into the centre of defence when needed.
CAM: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
The four times Ballon d’Or winner has had trouble fitting into the Argentine squad in recent years. After playing as a winger and a striker, Messi has finally been placed in the perfect position where the team can be built around him. As much as a team needs good defenders, great attackers are perhaps even more important, and Messi becomes the crucial player to link the defensive players with three of Europe’s best attackers.
FW: Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid)
Di Maria arrived in Madrid in 2010 from Benfica, and has since become one of the best wingers currently playing in Europe. He has great speed on the ball, and is a goal threat from almost any position. Di Maria has been playing for the national team since 2008.
FW: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
‘Kun’ Aguero’s professional football career began by breaking Maradona’s record of youngest player to debut in the Argentine first division. Despite his small statue, Aguero is very strong on the ball and very quick and agile in his dribbling, not unlike Messi and Maradona themselves.
FW: Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid)
At club level Higuain in constantly fighting off Benzema for his starting position. At international level Higuain also has to fight off Tevez. Unlike Tevez, Higuain has a cooler temperament and a better head at times. It is great for Argentina to have such strength in attack, with PSG’s Ezequiel Lavezzi also fighting for a starting position.