Atlanta United star Thiago Almada is heading to the World Cup in Qatar after being called up as an injury replacement by Argentina.
Almada’s inclusion was confirmed hours after Inter forward Joaquin Correa had to withdraw because of a knee problem sustained in the friendly win against the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old midfielder only made his Albiceleste debut in September’s friendly victory against Honduras, and now has the chance to join Lionel Messi and co. in trying to win their first World Cup since 1986.
Almada joined Atlanta in February in a $16million deal from Velez Sarsfield and recorded 18 goal involvements with the Major League Soccer side (six goals, 12 assists).
The announcement came shortly after it was confirmed that Atletico Madrid forward Angel Correa had been called up to replace Nicolas Gonzalez, who was also forced to withdraw due to injury.
Argentina’s campaign at the World Cup begins with a clash against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, before they also face Mexico and Poland in Group C, with the defeated 2014 finalists widely regarded to be among the favourites for this year’s tournament.