Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi, the joint-leading scorer in Italy this season, was a notable omission from Argentina’s 23-man World Cup squad named by coach Jorge Sampaoli on Monday.
Icardi scored his 29th Serie A goal of the season on Sunday as Inter pipped Lazio to a Champions League place, but he was one of the 12 players cut from a provisional 35-man squad revealed last week.
The 25-year-old made his Argentina debut in October 2013 but spent four years in international exile before he was recalled last September for the final four World Cup qualifiers.
The squad: Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero, Willy Caballero, Franco Armani.
Defenders: Gabriel Mercado, Federico Fazio, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Taglafico, Javier Mascherano, Marcos Acuna, Cristian Ansaldi, Eduardo Salvio.
Midfielders: Ever Banega, Lucas Biglia, Angel Di Maria, Giovani Lo Celso, Manuel Lanzini, Maximiliano Meza. Forwards: Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Sergio Aguero, Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors).
Real Madrid midfielders Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic, as well as Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic and Atletico Madrid’s Sime Vrsaljko were included in Croatia’s 24-man list. Coach Zlatko Dalic said he plans to exclude one defender from the final list. He also said he prefers Mario Mandzukic to play as striker rather than a winger, as he does with Juventus.
“I see our versatile striker Mandzukic leading the line because that’s his natural position,” Dalic added.
Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic, Lovre Kalinic, Dominik Livakovic. Defenders: Vedran Corluka, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic, Dejan Lovren, Sime Vrsaljko, Josip Pivaric, Tin Jedvaj, Matej Mitrovic, Duje Caleta-Car.
Midfielders: Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Ivan Rakitic, Milan Badelj, Marcelo Brozovic, Filip Bradaric. Forwards: Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Nikola Kalinic, Andrej Kramaric, Marko Pjaca, Ante Rebic.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane will be England’s captain at the World Cup, the FA announced on Tuesday.
Manager Gareth Southgate has shared the leadership role around since taking over as manager in 2016 but has now settled on Kane for the tournament.
The 24-year-old, who has scored 12 goals in 23 international appearances, was first handed the armband for the qualifier against Scotland last June and has skippered the side on three further occasions.
Southgate, who announced his decision during a team meeting at England's training base on Monday, said: “Harry has some outstanding personal qualities. He is a meticulous professional and one of the most important things for a captain is that they set the standard every day.
“He has belief and high standards and it is a great message for the team to have a captain who has shown that it is possible to be one of the best in the world over a consistent period of time.”