Argentina have cut down to their final 23-man team for the World Cup, axing three players from their team on the squad deadline day. Defender Nicolas Otamendi, midfielder Ever Banega and attacking midfielder Jose Ernesto Sosa are the three players who were cut from Alejandro Sabella's team.
Lionel Messi is the clear headliner on a team that features no serious shocks. The one slight surprise is that both Enzo Perez and Lucas Biglia were selected for the team ahead of Banega. But Biglia is in better form than the Newell's playmaker, while Perez is a different kind of midfielder who runs much more than Banega. Augusto Fernandez over Sosa is another minor surprise, but an understandable one -- Fernandez is more of a pure winger than the man he beat out.
Here's Sabella's final team for the World Cup.
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Monaco), Mariano Andújar (Catania), Agustín Orion (Boca Juniors)
Defenders: Ezequiel Garay (Benfica), Federico Fernández (Napoli), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Marcos Rojo (Sporting Portugal), José María Basanta (Monterrey), Hugo Campagnaro (Inter Milan), Martín Demichelis (Manchester City)
Midfielders: Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Angel Di María (Real Madrid), Maximiliano Rodríguez (Newell's Old Boys), Ricardo Alvarez (Inter Milan), Augusto Fernández (Celta Vigo), Enzo Pérez (Benfica)
Forwards: Sergio Agüero (Manchester City), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris Saint-Germain), Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan)