Lionel Messi may be the best soccer player in the world but his standing among the game’s all-time greats—including Pelé, Diego Maradona, and Zinedine Zidane—will not be guaranteed until he wins a World Cup. This tournament, his fourth, could be the 30-year-old’s best last chance. Messi’s supporting cast is stellar this time around, including bulldog midfielder Javier Mascherano, striker Sergio Aguero, and attacker Angel di Maria. But the team is shrouded in mystery thanks to coach Jorge Sampaoli’s use of experimental lineups in recent months. La Albiceleste, ranked No. 5 in the world, beat Italy 2-0 on March 23 and then lost to Spain 6-1 four days later. Messi and Co. could bring Argentina its third world title or crash and burn early. Either way, you have to watch.
Here, portraits of all 23 players on the 2018 World Cup squad.
Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty ImagesPaulo Dybala
Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty ImagesJavier MascheranoMichael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty ImagesLionel Messi