The 2018 World Cup kicks off on June 14 as host Russia takes on Saudi Arabia. CBS Sports will have you covered for each game, all the important news and more, as well as profiles of all of the teams.
At 30 years of age, this is considered Lionel Messi’s last World Cup in his prime. It’s been over two decades since Argentina has won an important trophy and has lost three straight finals, including the last World Cup. But the South American giants enter this summer as one of the favorites to win it all, boasting a stacked attack, experience in the middle and a manager with a proven track record in Jorge Sampaoli.
World Cup appearances: 17
Best finish: Two-time champions (1978, 1986)
Last World Cup: Runners-up in 2014
Saturday, June 16: Argentina vs. Iceland, 9 a.m. ET, stream on fuboTV (Try for free)
Thursday, June 21: Argentina vs. Croatia, 2 p.m. ET, stream on fuboTV (Try for free)
Tuesday, June 26: Argentina vs. Nigeria, 2 p.m. ET, stream on fuboTV (Try for free)
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Willy Caballero (Chelsea), Franco Armani (River Plate).
Defenders: Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla),Cristian Ansaldi (Torino), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica), Javier Mascherano (Hebei China Fortune), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Federica Fazio (Roma), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), Marcos Acuna (Sporting CP)
Midfielders: Enzo Perez (River Playe), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Lucas Biglia (Milan), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Giovani Lo Celso (Paris Saint-Germain), Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain), Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors).
Forwards: Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus).
Lionel Messi,and it isn’t even close. He’s the top scorer in national team history and is well on his way to cementing his legacy as the best player the world has ever seen. Some feel he needs a World Cup to validate that status, but there’s no doubt this team goes as Messi does.
After all, he’s the reason why they qualified for the World Cup. Don’t you remember what he did when they needed a win in Ecuador on the last matchday of qualifying?
See for yourself:
Player to watch
Paulo Dybala: The Juventus superstar is arguably the most talented player Argentina has after Messi. He is similar in his ability to slice up a defense and score on his own, but he also has the vision to set up others and the speed to make defenses lose sleep the night before a game. It’s been tricky for Sampaoli to get Dybala and Messi on the field together and mesh, but if he can, watch out.
Winning it all is the only way the tournament will be considered a success for the country. It’s now or never for this national team and Messi. The team has a very manageable group and should have no trouble getting to the knockout stages. There, they have as good a chance as anybody but will hope to not cross paths with Germany, the team that’s knocked them out of the last three World Cups. The key for this team will be to limit mistakes at the back. Nicolas Otamendi should be anchoring the backline but there are concerns as to who will join him at the back, whether Sampaoli will go with three defenders and who can show consistency, something this team is needing dearly., and losing to Spain 6-1 in a friendly has already caused a pre-tournament panic among fans.