Picking an Argentina Next-Generation XI

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Picking an Argentina Next-Generation XI
Gino Peruzzi (photo courtesy of velezsarsfield.com.ar)

Argentina represents one of the most fertile seedbeds in the world when it comes to producing professional footballers.

The quality of the young players emerging from the country was once reflected in its dominance of under-age tournaments.

Between 1995 and 2007, for example, Argentina won five out of the seven FIFA U-20 World Cups that were contested, with the likes of Javier Saviola, Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi lighting up the competition.

In recent years, there has been a decline in the country's performances at junior tournaments, as the process for developing youth footballers in Argentina has become disorganized on a structural level.

Young footballers leaving for foreign shores after having barely played a season or two in Argentina's domestic league is another factor which has weakened the U-20 and U-23 Albiceleste sides, as there is less continuity in the learning process of players on an individual and group level.

That is not to say, though, that Argentina's talent pool has dried up.

There are still a host of youngsters making their mark at a domestic and international level with every new season.

Here we select a side made up of prodigious Argentine players who may not yet be established in the senior national side (though a couple are already working their way in) but could be making up the backbone of the squad by the time the 2018 World Cup rolls around.

We're playing a 3-4-3, purely because that way we can fit more midfield and attacking players in.

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