How Argentina could line up in 2026 World Cup with XI predicted including Man Utd’s Alejandro Garnacho & no Lionel Messi
ARGENTINA will defend their World Cup crown in 2026 with a bold new look.
That’s because the South American giants will be without talisman Lionel Messi.
GettyArgentina will not have Lionel Messi around to defend their World Cup in 2026[/caption]
The Paris Saint-Germain star bid farewell to World Cup football with two goals in yesterday’s victorious final over France.
And the time has come for new aces to step up for their country.
Other veterans including Angel Di Maria and Nicolas Otamendi are unlikely to be around either.
Here, SunSport’s Anthony Chapman looks at how Argentina could potentially line up in Canada, Mexico and the USA…
GK – EMILIANO MARTINEZ (ASTON VILLA), CURRENT AGE – 30
Goalies tend to stick around a little longer than outfield players and Martinez has proven to be one of the best around.
His mentality and commitment to Argentina’s cause could even put him in with a shout of becoming the new captain.
But Martinez may have to curb his enthusiasm for the unsavoury side of the game too.
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How Argentina could look at the 2026 World Cup
RB – NAHUEL MOLINA (ATLETICO MADRID), 24
A constant threat down Argentina’s right flank and adapted well to several different formations.
Molina’s best years are still to come after an impressive debut tournament.
CB – CRISTIAN ROMERO (TOTTENHAM), 24
A rock at the back for club and country in every single game.
There’s a reason why both Antonio Conte and Lionel Scaloni love the no-nonsense defender.
CB – LISANDRO MARTINEZ (MAN UTD), 24
What he lacks in height, he more than makes up for in passion and teamwork.
Many were surprised to see Martinez ousted for Otamendi in Qatar, but he is sure to now take over from the veteran.
LB – FRANCO CARBONI (INTER MILAN), 19
Rejected Liverpool and Juventus to join Inter last season and is still just 19 years old.
On loan at Cagliari, Carboni has been tipped by many as the new Javier Zanetti and has already earned a senior call-up.
Emi Buendia is ready to win back his place in Argentina’s squadGetty
RM – EMILIANO BUENDIA (ASTON VILLA), 25
Dip in form saw versatile wide-man narrowly miss out on place in 2022 World Cup squad.
But Buendia is a fighter and will undoubtedly work his way back into Scaloni’s plans again.
CM – ENZO FERNANDEZ (BENFICA), 21
The deserved winner of the tournament’s Best Young Player award.
Fernandez is sure to get a big-money move in the next year or two, which should make him even more formidable by 2026.
CM – ALEXIS MAC ALLISTER (BRIGHTON), 23
Kept his head down as Seagulls pals took all the credit and is now a world champion with the best of them.
Mac Allister keeps getting better with each season and versatility makes him a sure thing at the next World Cup.
APAlejandro Garnacho is ready to make a splash for Argentina[/caption]
LM – ALEJANDRO GARNACHO (MAN UTD), 18
Youngster was upset by World Cup snub, and angrier still when he was not chosen as an injury replacement.
But Garnacho is maturing well at Old Trafford and has shown he has the skill to replace Messi as Argentina’s main playmaker.
ST – LAUTARO MARTINEZ (INTER MILAN), 25
Seems nervy on the big stage but more minutes up top will help him adjust to role.
Has done the business for his club and there’s no reason to suggest he can’t do it for his country.
ST – JULIAN ALVAREZ (MAN CITY), 22
Stunning year for the young striker has seen him become a favourite for Argentina.
Pep Guardiola loves Alvarez and knows what it takes to turn players into superstars.
Just ask the departing Messi.