Ryan Ross Date: 6th June 2014 at 11:20pm
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Alejandro SabellaArgentina have named their squad for this summer’s upcoming World Cup tournament where they are seen as serious contenders to emerge as winner’s of football’s most glorious prize.

Having won the competition twice in their illustrious history the Albiceleste are expected to rely upon the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Javier Mascherano and co. to inspire them to victory.

They have a good chance of achieving their goal of victory as the majority of their players are injury free and are at the peak of their powers.

Coach: Alejandro Sabella

Their coach Alejandro Sabella took over the reigns of the national side from Sergio Batista in 2011 after a disastrous showing at the Copa America when Argentina exited in the early stages. Sabella’s start was viewed as being too cautious in playing style and he was often accused of selecting former players he had coached at club side Estudiantes. However, given time, Sabella has been able to adapt his side’s style and Argentina now play with an attacking verve which sees them dominate the opposition with their attacking trident of Messi, Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain and rotating between a defensive back three or four.

The adaptability of Sabella’s systems has prepared them for their upcoming group fixtures against Bosnia, Nigeria and Iran and will greatly benefit them when it comes to the knockout stages where they will face sterner opposition.

Key Player: Lionel Messi

Yet there is one tale to be told when it comes to Argentina’s place at this summer’s tournament and that is the role captain Lionel Messi has to play. Constant comparisons have been made between Messi and Argentine legend Diego Maradona and whether or the former is really one of the greatest players of all time. There is constant debate whether or not Messi needs to win the World Cup to justify if he is on an equal level to Maradona or if he just isn’t of the same standard. This tournament is the chance for Messi to prove his critics wrong and regardless of if he needs that World Cup or not, he can achieve his goals and jump that one last hurdle.

One to Watch: Fernando Gago

Sabella has opted for experience throughout his squad, thus leaving little room for surprise. Fernando Gago is European football’s forgotten man however and can now be found playing his football in Buenos Aires for club side Boca Juniors.

The deep-lying playmaker will be a permanent fixture in the starting eleven and will provide the majority of through balls for Messi to latch onto. The pair shone in tandem as Argentina stormed through qualification and Gago can remind all of the world what a tremendous player he is on his day.

How far can they go?

Argentina have the firepower to reach the final stages of the tournament, Aguero and Higuain are capable of converting the chances Messi and Angel Di Maria will create for them. Whilst the robust defence, shielded by Mascherano and Gago will cope with most opposition if coached properly.

The Argentine’s are aided by a favourable draw too which sees them avoid the warm climates in certain regions of Brazil, such as Recife or the Amazonian territory of Manaus.

Failure to at least reach the final and then ultimately win it will be a bitter disappointment for Sabella’s side and Lionel Messi.

Follow Ryan Ross on Twitter: @rross11