Picture Credit: X

Picture Credit: X

Early on Wednesday, July 3, Arg entina named their 18-member football squad for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics. What comes as a surprise and a shock at the same time, the side will be without their star player and one of the greats of football, Lionel Messi. Moreover, the Javier Mascherano coached side stars four players for their FIFA World Cup winning team.

Lionel Messi, who is currently playing in the Copa America, eyeing to retain the title after their win in 2021, misses a place as he has been struggling with injuries off late. Moreover, Messi’s absence comes despite securing a gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics for the side.

From the four names from the FIFA World Cup 2024 squad, Julian Alvarez and Nicolas Otamendi have been the notable inclusions. It is to be noted that the Olympics men’s football competition is primarily for U-23 teams, although a team can include up to three players above the age limit in each team. Apart from Alvarez and Otamendi, Mascherano plans to incorporate goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli.

Argentina are placed in Group B, alongside Iraq, Ukraine and Morocco. The side will open their campaign at the 2024 Paris Olympics against Morocco on July 24 and before that, they are set to play two friendlies in France.

Argentina squad for Paris Olympics 2024

Goalkeepers: Leandro Brey (Boca Juniors), Geronimo Rulli (Ajax)

Defenders: Marco Di Cesare (Racind Club), Julio Soler (Lanus), Joaquin Garcia (Velez Sarsfield), Gonzalo Lujan (San Lorenzo), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Bruno Amione (Santos Laguna).

Midfielders: Ezequiel Fernandez (Boca Juniors), Santiago Hezze (Olympiacos), Cristian Medina (Boca Juniors), Kevin Zenon (Boca Juniors).

Forwards: Giuliano Simeone (Atletico Madrid), Luciano Gondou (Argentinos Juniors), Thiago Almada (Botafogo de Brasil), Claudio Echeverri (River Plate), Julian Alvarez (Manchester City), Lucas Beltran (Fiorentina).