Life after Lionel Messi: Who are Argentina’s next generation of stars?


After Argentina won the Qatar 2022 World Cup, the search for new stars has begun in case Lionel Messi and other veterans decide to leave the National Team. Read here to meet the young players who might take the lead.

Argentina finally achieved their goal of winning a third World Cup thanks to Lionel Messi’s spectacular performance in Qatar. At 35, after an amazing battle with Kylian Mbappe, the legend finished the tournament with seven goals and won the Ballon d’Or as the best player.

At this time, Messi has not rejected the opportunity to play the sixth World Cup in 2026 in Mexico, the United States and Canada. He will be 39 years old. That would be a new record, breaking a tie with Antonio Carbajal, Andrés Guardado, Rafael Márquez and Lothar Matthäus. Cristiano Ronaldo is the only player to achieve this, but he will be 41 years old.

Although Argentina are still celebrating the title, the new goal is to become only the third team in World Cup history to win back-to-back titles. So, in case Lionel Messi and other veterans decide to leave the national team, there are some young stars who could lead the way for the next generation.

Who are Argentina’s new generation of stars when Messi retires?

A very important detail of this list is that all these young players are trying to follow Lionel Messi’s steps. This means to develop themselves in Europe, and some others surprisingly in the United States, in order to fight for a chance to play in one of the big leagues: Spain, Italy, England, Germany and France.

Luka Romero

Luka Romero (Getty Images)
Luka Romero (Getty Images)

Luka Romero had the chance to play for Mexico considering he was born in the city of Durango. However, the 18-year old right wing has made very clear his desire to represent Argentina. Luka moved with his family to Spain when he was only three-years old and is son of former Argentinian player, Diego Romero. He is a superb prospect who started his European career with Mallorca. In the summer of 2021, Romero signed with Lazio where he’s trying to become one of the rising stars in Serie A.

Alejandro Garnacho

Alejandro Garnacho (Getty Images)
Alejandro Garnacho (Getty Images)
Alejandro Garnacho is one of the biggest revelations in the Premier League with Manchester United. At only 18-years old, many people believed he could have earned a roster spot with Argentina to gain some experience in the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Garnacho is a sensational player who played with the National Team of Spain in youth categories. He was born in Madrid. Nevertheless, his mother is from Argentina and Lionel Scaloni even called him for some of the World Cup qualifiers. The problem is he never made his official international debut with the first team, so the door is still open for Spain. His inner circle claims he won’t let down Argentina.

Matías Soulé

Matías Soulé (Getty Images)
Matías Soulé (Getty Images)

Another option for Argentina in attack. He started his career with Velez Sarsfield, but, just like the rest of these young stars, he went to Europe with only 16-years old and signed for Juventus FC. Now, three years later, he has already made his debut in Serie A and is seen by many as one of the best U20 prospects in the world. Soulé, like Alejandro Garnacho, was already called by Lionel Scaloni for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Nicolo Tresoldi

Nicolo Tresoldi is 18-years and could be a hidden gem for many countries in the world, including Argentina. The striker was born in Italy, his mother is from Argentina, but has chosen to play for Germany in youth categories. He had some offers as a youngster from many Italian clubs. However, he chose Hannover 96 to develop himself as a player, signed a professional contract and already made his debut in the Second Division. His father, former player Emanuele Tresoldi, might be crucial in the final decision.


Felipe Rodríguez-Gentile was born in Brazil on October 2006, but his parents are from Argentina. He is 16-years old and the amazing striker right now plays in youth categories with Preston North End. It won’t take long for one of the big clubs in the Premier League to sign him considering all his potential as an attacking threat.

Nico Paz

Nicolás Paz was born in Tenerife, Spain, but his father is former player Pablo Paz. That gives him the chance to be called by Argentina. At 18-years old, Nico is a fantastic midfielder in the young categories of Real Madrid and has consolidated himself as a tremendous prospect playing with Castilla.

Valentin Carboni

Valentin Carboni is another great midfielder for Argentina’s future. He currently plays for Inter Milan and is only 17-years old. He played since his childhood with Lanus helped by his father, famous Ezequiel Carboni, who worked as the coach of the first team. When that stint ended, they moved to Italy and Inter signed him after scouting him at Catania.

Franco Carboni

Franco Carboni is Valentin’s brother and he was also formed at Lanus thanks to his father. He is 18-years old and is already playing as a great defender for Cagliari in Italy. His professional rights belong to Inter Milan. As his brother, the Inter scouts saw him at Catania and immediately took a chance. He plays left back. Lionel Scaloni, in the same process as other youngsters, also called him in the last part of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers to gain experience with the group.

Tiago Geralnik

Tiago Geralnik could easily be the future in the famous position of 10 (attacking midfielder). He is 19-years old, started his career at River Plate, played in the Spanish Third Division with Villarreal’s youth team (Villarreal C) and has been promoted to the Second Division squad (Villarreal B):

Niko Takashashi

Another amazing left back who might be available for Argentina. He is 17-years old and plays in the youth categories for FC Barcelona. The defender was born in Spain, but his father is from Argentina and his mother is Japanese. He’s already played for Japan as an U19, but the chance is still open to play for Argentina.

Máximo Carrizo

Maximo Carrizo is one of the leaders of a generation of players born in the United States with fathers from Argentina. He is a sensational prospect at only 14-years old. The left footed star is an attacking midfielder who became the youngest player ever to sign a professionl contract in MLS with New York City FC. That could lead to a lot of scouts, especially from Manchester City (founding club of New York City FC).

Benjamin Cremaschi

Benjamin Cremaschi is 17-years old and also was born in the United States. The midfielder, whose parents are from Argentina, raised him in Florida where he has become one of the top prospects in the soccer program of Inter Miami (MLS). He was developed in Inter Miami’s academy and now has already signed a contract to the youth categories towards a shot with first team. He is a huge example of how the United States are implementing a great model for young players who don’t wanna go so early to Europe.

Alessandro Bolzan

Alessandro Bolzan is another young star born from a former player. In this case, Ruben Bolzan who was also a manager. He is 17-years old and plays as left wing or center forward in youth categories with AS Roma in Italy.

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