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WORLD CUP 2022

Thiago Almada and Ángel Correa called up to Argentina World Cup 2022 squad

The players were called up to Lionel Scaloni’s side after injuries to both Joaquín Correa and Nicolás González.

Joe Brennan
Update:
ATLANTA, GA  MAY 15:  Atlanta midfielder Thiago Almada (8) reacts after scoring a first-half goal during the MLS match between the New England Revolution and Atlanta United FC on May 15th, 2022 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA.  (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Icon SportswireGetty

“Thiago called me crying and shouting to tell me. He had given me tickets to Qatar for Father’s Day. We can’t believe it, now we’re all going to have to travel.” - Diego Almada, Thiago’s dad, talking to Radio La Red

And just like that, things have changed dramatically for the Almada family. The Atlanta midfielder was called up to Scaloni’s squad after Joaquín Correa was ruled out with a knee injury. The player had played through pain in Argentina’s last match, a 0-5 win over UAE, and was ruled out of featuring at the World Cup shortly after.

Who were the options to replace Joaquín Correa and Nico González?

The main options to replace Correa were Thiago Almada, Manchester United’s Alejandro Garnacho and Giovanni Simeone. In the end, Scaloni went with the Atlanta player, adding another MLS superstar to the already long list of talent at the tournament.

As for Nico González, the choice was much simpler. Scaloni had already, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, left out Atlético Madrid forward Ángel Correa from the squad. He was a huge exclusion as Correa’s work ethic and versatility were thought by many to come in handy during such a short tournament. So, when the injury of Nico González was announced, it became immediately obvious that the man from Rosario would fill the gap.

A twist of fate for Almada and Ángel

In the hours leading up to the news breaking, both Ángel Correa and Thiago Almada were pictured playing football together in the streets of Buenos Aires. Hours later, they were in the airport with a hastily packed suitcase each, on their way to Qatar.

It is a huge opportunity for Thiago Almada, who moved to MLS in February 2022 for a fee reported to be around $16 million. Since then, the midfielder has impressed, playing 29 times, scoring 6 goals and grabbing 7 assists. On 23 September 2022, Almada made his international debut, against Honduras.

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