Lionel Messi can finally say that he led his country to a major international title. Argentina won its first major international competition in nearly three decades last year, claiming the 2021 Copa America over rivals Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. Messi was named the Best Player of the competition and was tied with Colombia’s Luis Diaz as the top goal scorer in the tournament. Now, Messi and Argentina have their sights set on World Cup success in Qatar.
Argentina Odds at the 2022 World Cup
Argentina Odds to Win the 2022 World Cup +750
Argentina Odds to Win Group C -270
Argentina Odds to Qualify for the Round of 16 -1200
La Albiceleste weren’t as dominant as Brazil in World Cup qualifying, but Argentina didn’t lose a single match to any of their South American counterparts. Argentina went 11-6-0 and allowed just eight goals in those 17 matches to become one of the first teams to qualify for Qatar. Lautaro Martinez and Messi accounted for more than half of Argentina’s goals during qualifying, and they hope to be just as dangerous come November.
Argentina currently boasts the longest unbeaten run in international football. La Albiceleste have gone 32 straight matches without a defeat, and their last loss was in the semifinals of the 2019 Copa America. They were very impressive in a 3-0 win over Italy in London back in June with Lautaro Martinez, Angel Di Maria, and Paulo Dybala all notching the goals to give Argentina the CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions.
In their last match, Lionel Messi put on a clinic against overmatched Estonia. Messi notched all five of Argentina’s goals in a 5-0 win over the small Baltic country. Argentina is currently slated to face Brazil and the United Arab Emirates prior to the World Cup.
Lautaro Martinez might be ready to take the torch from Lionel Messi at this World Cup. Martinez is not going to reach the same highs as Messi did in his storied career, but he is 24 years old and already has 20 goals in 38 games for Argentina. He has drawn interest from Barcelona and Atletico Madrid yet Inter are currently set on keeping the young forward.
What more can be said about Messi? The greatest player of his generation has won the Ballon d’Or seven times, and he is still playing at an extremely high level despite being 35. Messi has 86 goals in 162 appearances for La Albiceleste, and he is off to another strong start with Paris St-Germain. Argentina can’t afford an injury to either player prior to the World Cup as Paulo Dybala has largely been a disappointment, and there isn’t another proven goal scoring threat up top.
Angel Di Maria is going to be the mainstay in the midfield for Argentina. Di Maria has been a scoring threat from the midfield, and he has 25 goals in 122 caps for the national side. None of the other Argentine midfielders have proven to be real scoring options. Leandro Paredes has the second-most goals from the midfield with four tallies in his career, but Giovani Lo Celso, Rodrigo de Paul, and others haven’t shown that in their games.
The back line is once again the biggest question for Argentina. Nicolas Otamendi is easily the most experienced defender, and it will be interesting to see who else rounds out the starting four in the back. Nicolas Tagliafico probably has a spot, but Lionel Scaloni has some options for the other two positions.
Emiliano Martinez is likely to be the first-choice goalkeeper for Argentina at the World Cup. The Aston Villa standout has been targeted by larger clubs this year, and he is likely to be on the move if the Lions don’t qualify for European play at the end of this season. Martinez has been great in net recently,
The lack of a solid back line led to France picking Argentina apart in the Round of 16 last year, and it will keep Argentina from winning the World Cup this year. Argentina should have little trouble with Saudi Arabia and Mexico in the Group Stage, but Robert Lewandowski has the potential to really punish this team and set up another early-round match with France.
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