Argentina with Messi and some young shooters

The Argentina team, with its star Lionel Messi and some young talent, will defend the title of world champion in an official match against Ecuador and Bolivia in qualifying for the 2026 World Cup, according to a list of players released on Thursday in Buenos Aires.

Lionel Messi, 36, who joined Inter Miami this summer, will join veterans Angel Di Maria (Benfica) and Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid).

New arrivals include left-back Lucas Esquivel (21, from Athletico Paranaense), midfielder Bruno Zapelli (21, Athletico Paranaense), forwards Lucas Beltrán (22, Fiorentina) and defenders Alan Velasco (21, FC Dallas). Are included. Marcos Senesi (26, Bournemouth) and goalkeeper Walter Benitez (30, PSV Eindhoven), ex-OGC Nice.

These first two qualifying matches will also see the return of world champion goalkeeper Franco Armani (River Plate) and striker Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid) to Qatar.

Argentina will play Ecuador in Buenos Aires on 7 September and Bolivia five days later in La Paz.

The 2026 World Cup will be hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico.

List of Argentine players:

Goalkeepers: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa/ENG), Franco Armani (River Plate), Walter Benitez (PSV Eindhoden/NED), Juan Musso (Atlanta/ITA)

Defenders: Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid/ESP), German Pezzella (Betis Sevilla/ESP), Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla FC/ESP), Juan Foyth (Villarreal/ESP), Marcos Senesi (Bournemouth/ENG), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United) ) /ENG), Cristian Romero (Tottenham/ENG), Nicolas Tagliafico (Lyon/FRA), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica/POR), Lucas Esquivel (Athletico Paranaense/BRA)

Midfielders: Leandro Paredes (AS Roma, Ita), Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Guido Rodriguez (Betis Sevilla/ESP), Facundo Buonanot (Brighton/ENG), Enzo Fernandez (Chelsea/ENG), Alexis McAllister ( Liverpool/England), Aquiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Alan Velazco (FC Dallas/USA), Bruno Zapelli (Athletico Paranaense/BRA), Thiago Almada (Atlanta United/USA).

Forwards: Lucas Beltran (Fiorentina/ITA), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina/ITA), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Julian Alvarez (Manchester City/ENG), Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United/ENG), Lionel Messi (Inter Miami) ) / USA), Angel Di Maria (Benfica / POR), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan / Ita).

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