Argentina World Cup Roster 2014: Full 26-Man Squad and Starting 11 Projections

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Argentina World Cup Roster 2014: Full 26-Man Squad and Starting 11 Projections
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Update from Thursday, May 22

Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella has cut four players from his 30-man preliminary World Cup squad, leaving just three more names to be chopped ahead of the tournament.

The following players saw their dreams dashed, reported by Sky Sports:

Four players cut by Argentina
Player Club
Franco di Santo Werder Bremen
Fabian Rinaudo Sporting Lisbon
Gabriel Mercado River Plate
Lisandro Lopez Benfica

Sky Sports

 

Original Text

After consecutive quarterfinal exits from the World Cup, Argentina gear up for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with their sights set on redemption.   

Back on South American soil for the first time since 1978, when they won as hosts, La Albiceleste are poised to make a deep run this summer. 

Led by one of the planet's top players in Lionel Messi, Argentina will carry lofty expectations into a favorable group draw. After landing in the same group as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nigeria and Iran, Argentina manager Alejandro Sabella was quick to express his relief, per Telam, via ESPN FC:

We are not in a group of death and the travelling is not too bad. We have drawn a group we are happy with. Brazil is a very big country with huge differences in climate and for us the journeys will be short -- otherwise, we’d have had to deal with a lot of travel and temperature changes.

Unsurprisingly, many experts are projecting Argentina to run the table in Group F and easily advance to the knockout stage. But the pressure to succeed is often an overlooked factor in a tournament of this magnitude, as noted by football journalist Danilo Colasimonho:

Will it be a triumphant return to South America for the two-time World Cup champions or another disappointing showing on the sport's biggest stage? 

Only time will tell, but with Argentina's 30-man roster announced, let's take a look at who will be representing the South American giants in Brazil this summer.

 

World Cup 2014 Roster 

Argentina 2014 World Cup Roster
Position Player
GK Sergio Romero
GK Mariano Andujar
GK Agustin Orion
DF Ezequiel Garay
DF Federico Fernandez
DF Pablo Zabaleta
DF Marcos Rojo
DF Jose Maria Basanta
DF Hugo Campagnaro
DF Martín Demichelis
MF Fernando Gago
MF Lucas Biglia
MF Javier Mascherano
MF Angel Di Maria
MF Maximiliano Rodriguez
MF Ricardo Alvarez
MF Augusto Fernandez
MF Enzo Perez
FW Sergio Aguero
FW Lionel Messi
FW Gonzalo Higuain
FW Ezequiel Lavezzi
FW Rodrigo Palacio

The Guardian

 

Projected Starting XI 

Argentina Projected Starting XI
Position Player Club
GK Sergio Romero Monaco
D Pablo Zabaleta Manchester City
D Federico Fernandez Napoli
D Ezequiel Garay Benfica
D Jose Maria Basanta Monterrey
M Javier Mascherano Barcelona
M Angel di Maria Real Madrid
M Lucas Biglia Lazio
F Lionel Messi Barcelona
F Gonzalo Higuain Napoli
F Sergio Aguero Manchester City

---

Argentina's biggest strength clearly lies at the top of their lineup. With Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain on board, there may not be enough touches to go around. 

Although Aguero and Higuain have each scored 20-plus goals on the international stage, Messi's 37 trump every other player on the roster and are sure to guarantee him a spot in the starting XI. After all, only Gabriel Batistuta (56 goals from 1991 to 2002) has scored more goals for the Argentina national squad than Messi. 

Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Javier Mascherano is another name to watch for in the starting lineup. The Barcelona midfielder, who will be 30 in June, is closing in on 100 career appearances for Argentina and brings tremendous leadership and poise to the table. 

No active player has more career appearances for La Albiceleste than Mascherano.

Elsa/Getty Images

In goal, 27-year-old Sergio Romero seems like the obvious choice. The Monaco goalkeeper has 44 appearances since 2009. 

Defensively, Manchester City's Pablo Zabaleta and Napoli's Federico Fernandez appear to be locks. The veteran duo have combined to make nearly 60 international appearances and are unlikely to be overwhelmed by the moment in Brazil.

Regardless of what Argentina's starting XI looks like for their Group F opener against Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are sure to be plenty of familiar faces in the mix and notable star power on display. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter

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