Mauro Icardi, the joint top goalscorer in Italy’s Serie A this season, was left out of Argentina’s World Cup squad on Monday as coach Jorge Sampaoli named his 23 players for next month’s tournament in Russia.
Sampaoli named just four forwards in his squad with Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain all selected.
That meant there was no place for Icardi, who scored 29 league goals for Inter Milan this season.
Although Argentina boast some of world football’s most prolific strikers, they have struggled for goals in competitive matches, scoring just 19 times in the South American group’s 18 qualifying matches. Only Bolivia scored fewer.
Argentina, who lost in the World Cup final four years ago but only qualified for this year’s tournament thanks to a win in their final qualifying match, have been drawn in Group D alongside Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria.