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Paulo Dybala makes Argentina World Cup squad after injury scare

Argentina are confident that Dybala will be ready to play against Saudi Arabia on 22 November.

ROME, ITALY - NOVEMBER 11: AS Roma players Paulo Dybala during a training session at Centro Sportivo Fulvio Bernardini on November 11, 2022 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Fabio Rossi/AS Roma via Getty Images)
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Lionel Scaloni has announced his Argentina squad for the 2022 World Cup. Ahead of the announcement, Paulo Dybala was a doubt, but the playmaker has been included in the squad along with Lionel Messi and Ángel Di María.

Dybala as well as Joaquín Correa, Juan Foyth and Exequiel Palacios were all doubts but the four will travel to Qatar. Scaloni had already notified the other 22 players that they were going to the World Cup.

The conversation Scaloni had with Dybala was a key part of finalising the Argentina squad. The coaching staff is confident that he will be physically fit enough to play against Saudi Arabia on 22 November.

The other new addition to the list, and the one that the coaching staff have held off on, is Juan Foyth. The Villarreal defender was sidelined for 70 days due to injury and on Wednesday he officially returned to training. When Argentina realised that the former Estudiantes player was physically ready, they decided to include him in the list in place of Facundo Medina.

Mourinho had his doubts

Dybala suffered a thigh injury on 9 October when taking a penalty in Roma’s Serie A game against Lecce. Since then, the former Juventus player has been doing intense recovery work in an effort to ensure that he is able to go to Qatar. His recovery deadlines were being met but Roma manager José Mourinho set alarm bells ringing in Argentina when talking about Dybala this week.

According to Argentinian media, Scaloni expected Dybala to feature in Roma’s upcoming clash with Torino on Sunday but Mourinho cast doubt over the player’s availability. “I don’t know, it’s hard to say. I don’t know what he’s said to Scaloni and to Argentina. I don’t know if he has to play on Sunday to go to the World Cup or not,” said the Portuguese in his press conference after the midweek draw against Sassuolo.

“Players who are going to the World Cup are definitely going to have that on their minds ahead of the last league game. Obviously, we need Paulo. If I could choose, I would like to be able to pick Dybala against Torino.” Should Dybala not feature on Sunday, he will go into the tournament in Qatar having not played a single minute of football in a month and a half.

Correa left out

Atlético Madrid forward Ángel Correa has been left out of the squad, however, his namesake Joaquín Correa gets the nod for La Albiceleste.

Argentina’s group stage matches:

  • 22 November: Argentina vs Saudi Arabia
  • 26 November: Argentina vs Mexico
  • 30 November: Poland vs Argentina

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