Argentina limped through World Cup qualifying, but thanks to Lionel Messi they have made it to Russia. With him in the team they have more than a chance against any opponent, and there is no doubt La Albiceleste will be keen to make up for the final heartbreak they suffered to Germany four years ago.
It is likely to be Lionel Messi’s last World Cup. He has been a part of a strong Argentina side that have come close to silverware, but always seem to falter at the final hurdle. Messi will need the support of his teammates in Russia if they are to get close to the world title.
A World Cup update is coming to FIFA 18, and you have the opportunity to pick up a first World Cup since 1986. RealSport has a complete guide to plot your way to World Cup glory.
Argentina have a 5 star rating on FIFA 18. This is made up an 86 attack, 83 midfield and 81 defence.
Argentina’s potential World Cup fixtures
Round of 16
Brazil or France
Argentina’s generous group stage draw means that a trip to the quarterfinals will be the minimum target in Russia. That said, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria are dangerous opponents for different reasons, and although La Albiceleste will be aiming for nine points from nine in the group stage, they will need to be at their best to do so.
Messi & co. should sail through the Round of 16 with Denmark the likely opposition. The quarters bring a huge step up in quality as the heavyweights of Spain look to be waiting. If Argentina can negotiate La Roja, they will still need to defeat world champions Germany and then either Brazil or France to claim the trophy.
The default system for Argentina is a 4-3-3 defend, but we have decided to move this up to 4-3-3 attack. With limited defensive options you could opt for a three at the back formation or go very bold with an aggressive 4-2-4.
Manchester United’s Sergio Romero takes his place in goal, as Pablo Zabaleta, Federico Fazio, the solid Nicolas Otamendi (86 standing tackle) and Marcos Rojo make up the back four.
Lucas Biglia and Ever Banega are the central midfielders, with the dangerous Paulo Dybala (91 agility) operating in the number 10 position.
The GOAT Lionel Messi (95 finishing) is the first name on the team sheet out and on the right wing. He's joined in attack by target man Gonzalo Higuain (86 heading accuracy) and the flying (92 agility) Angel Di Maria. The 87-rated Sergio Aguero has to make do with a place on the bench.
For your substitutes go for Geronimo Rulli, Javier Mascherano, Gabriel Mercado, Javier Pastore, Alejandro Gomez, Sergio Aguero and Mauro Icardi.
There should be one thing on your mind when taking to the field with Argentina. Get the ball to Lionel Messi. The right winger or striker has unbelievable stats (97 composure, 97 dribbling) and you will want him on the ball as close to the goal as possible.
To ensure this, head to the instructions tab and change his defensive support to ‘stay forward’ and chance creation should be altered to ‘cut inside’.
Paulo Dybala has the capacity to replicate what Messi has done for Argentina, but in a different position. The Juventus attacking midfielder has an 87 overall rating on the World Cup update, and to maximise this you should change his positioning freedom to ‘free roam’.
Argentina have a frightening front four, but this will need to be balanced out. One option is tell one or both of your central midfielders to ‘stay back while attacking’, or you can give the same instructions to your full backs.
The elusive trophy
Lionel Messi has won it all. La Liga, the Champions League, the Club World Cup, even the Olympics, but the World Cup has been a stumbling block for the Argentine superstar. Messi will turn 31 during the tournament, meaning it's likely that this will be the last time we see him on the world stage.
The Barcelona forward is regarded by many as the best to have ever played the game, but the one thing that he cannot herald is a World Cup winners’ medal. He single-handedly hauled Argentina to the final four years ago, but he lacked support from his teammates. This time around, the team is weaker, and the task at hand is greater. Can you deliver that World Cup trophy for Messi on FIFA 18 in what could be his final international tournament?
Argentina squad player ratings
|Sergio Romero||31||GK||Manchester United||82|
|Geronimo Rulli||25||GK||Real Sociedad||80|
|Nicolas Otamendi||30||CB||Manchester City||86|
|Marcos Rojo||28||CB LB||Manchester United||81|
|Mateo Musacchio||27||CB||AC Milan||81|
|Pablo Zabaleta||33||RB CB||West Ham||78|
|Gabriel Mercado||31||RB CB||Sevilla||77|
|Ramiro Funes Mori||27||CB||Everton||77|
|Emmanuel Mas||29||LB||Boca Juniors||77|
|Facundo Roncaglia||31||CB RB||Celta Vigo||76|
|Paulo Dybala||24||CAM ST||Juventus||87|
|Javier Pastore||28||CM LW RW||PSG||83|
|Ever Banega||29||CM CAM||Sevilla||82|
|Lucas Biglia||32||CDM CM||AC Milan||82|
|Javier Mascherano||33||CDM CM CB||Hebei China Fortune||81|
|Roberto Pereyra||27||CM CAM LM||Watford||80|
|Leandro Paredes||23||CM CDM||Zenit||80|
|Augusto Fernandez||32||CM||Beijing Renhe||80|
|Fernando Belluschi||34||CAM CM||San Lorenzo||80|
|Matias Kranevitter||25||CDM CM||Zenit||78|
|Guido Pizarro||28||CDM CM||Sevilla||78|
|Enzo Perez||32||CM CDM||River Plate||77|
|Lionel Messi||30||RW CF CAM||Barcelona||94|
|Sergio Aguero||29||ST||Manchester City||87|
|Angel Di Maria||30||LW RW CAM||PSG||85|
|Mauro Icardi||25||ST||Inter Milan||85|
|Alejandro Gomez||30||LW CAM||Atalanta||84|
|Angel Correa||23||ST RW||Atletico Madrid||80|
|Ezequiel Lavezzi||33||LW RW||Hebei China Fortune||80|
|Lucas Pratto||29||ST||River Plate||79|
|Dario Benedetto||28||ST||Boca Juniors||79|
|Emiliano Rigoni||25||RW LW||Zenit||79|
|Nicolas Gaitan||30||LW||Dalian Yifang||78|
|Lautaro Acosta||30||LW RW||Lanus||78|