Dream Team World Cup: Argentina's star players, potential flops and bargain options | The Sun

Much of the footballing world is hoping for a fitting, fairytale World Cup ending which sees Lionel Messi lifting the trophy in Qatar.

And a fair few want him to go out at the group stage as well!

But which players are capable of helping the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner to inspire Argentina – on an unbeaten run of 35 games – to World Cup greatness?

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STAR PLAYERS

We'll start with the main man himself as he plots the ultimate sign-off from international football.

Messi is the joint-most expensive player in the game alongside Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe — but surely it's money well spent.

With Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland for company, Argentina are heavy favourites to win their group and their No10 will be eyeing big returns in the opening three games.

He has 90 goals and 51 assists in 164 caps and could make his 1000th professional appearance during this tournament.

A must-have? We think so…as do 32.9% of managers right now.

One thing to bear in mind when selecting from La Selección is the abundance of Martinezs available – make sure you pick the right one!

Or in this case, pick two in Emi and Lautaro. The former has five keepers ahead of him that are more expensive, despite Argentina's favourable group stage draw.

He only has three clean sheets to his name in the Premier League this season but that is no indication on his own personal Aston Villa form and he will get the nod in goals here with a far superior defence ahead of him.

While Inter Milan's striker has an outside chance of claiming the Golden Boot award if his side go deep in the tournament.

Martinez has eight goals and six assists for Inter so far this campaign and 21 goals and seven assists in 40 caps – and will have Messi feeding him through balls.

At 25 years of age, this could easily be the tournament where he properly announces himself to the world.

POTENTIAL FLOPS

Another Martinez now, this time Man United's centre-back, Lisandro.

A flop, really? It's nothing to do with him as a player, given he overcame a tough start at Old Trafford and is now considered one of the best purchases of the summer.

It's more to do with his £4m price tag and the fact Nicolas Otamendi and Cristian Romero could be ahead of him in the pecking order to play at centre back.

Paulo Dybala is another who could have a bit-part role this winter having just returned from injury.

He came off the bench for the final 20 minutes in Roma's draw with Torino and picked up a booking.

The 29-year-old lacks nothing in ability but he'll probably be limited to substitute cameos so Dream Team World Cup bosses should stay clear.

BARGAIN OPTIONS

At a reasonable £3.5m, Nahuel Molina has only been selected by just over 1% of all managers – that could be an oversight.

His form for Atletico Madrid hasn't been great recently but he's been a regular starter at right-back during a successful spell for Argentina.

It’s a similar story for club and country team-mate Rodrigo de Paul, who – at the same price as Molina – offers solid value for a midfield spot.

He's one of those players who seems to take his game to another level on the international stage and has been a big contributor to his country's unbeaten run.

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