Pablo Aimar names Argentina under-17 World Cup squad

All that is left is a farewell friendly against New Zealand on Saturday in Caseros before Pablo Aimar takes Argentina under-17s to the World Cup in Brazil. The former playmaker finished third in the 1995 edition of the tournament and on Friday selected a strong squad that travel as South American champions.

Argentina begin their campaign against Spain on October 28th before Group E games with Cameroon three days later and Tajikistan on November 3rd.

Having lifted the South American Championship for the fourth time back in April and guided by the experience of Aimar and assistant Diego Placente, La Albiceleste will be confident in Brazil.

Understandably the vast majority of the squad are the same players that triumphed in Peru only six months ago.

San Lorenzo playmaker Matías Palacios was one of the stars of that side and the 17-year-old, who made his senior club debut in 2018, has since been named one of The Guardian’s best young talents in world football.

Palacios has shone under the guidance of the stylistically similar Aimar but was not alone in The Guardian’s list.

Powerful defender Bruno Amione was central to the under-17s success before a metatarsal injury forced him out of the tournament prematurely. Now part of Belgrano’s first-team squad Amione has already attracted European interest, Genoa hoping to raid Córdoba for another Cristian Romero.

And Independiente’s Alan Velasco, the tricky wide player who made his senior debut in the Copa Sudamericana and who El Rojo hope could be the next Ezequiel Barco.

Those three however are not the only players that Aimar will be looking to. Atlético de Rafaela striker Matías Godoy scored three goals in the South American Championships, including a vital brace in a 2-0 win over Chile in the final phase and pacy Boca Juniors’ winger Exequiel Zeballos carried a threat.

Captain Juan Sforza in central midfield has already appeared on the radar of Manchester City and AC Milan according to reports and the Newell’s Old Boys youngster will play an integral role.

The quick turnaround of games at the World Cup will see Aimar fully utilise his squad just as Argentina did at the South American Championship and while an opening game against Spain poses a difficult start, Los Pibes will be aiming to impress in Brazil.

Argentina, for all their success at youth level over the past 20 years, have never lifted the under-17 World Cup. Aimar’s team in 1995 one of three occasions that La Albiceleste took third and now the 39-year-old has the chance to improve on that as coach.

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