Lionel Messi's 2005 Youth World Cup winning Argentina Squad: Where are they now?

Champions of the World! Who said Messi doesn’t have an international trophy, eh!

FC Barcelona’s megastar Lionel Messi does have an international medal in his trophy cabinet, the 2005 U-20 Youth World Club, where his Argentina team thoroughly outplayed everyone in their path – the United States, Germany and Egypt in the group stages, Radamel Falcao’s Colombia in the pre-quarters, David Siilva’s Spain in the quarters, Filipe Luis’ Brazil in the semifinals and John Obi Mikel’s Nigeria in the final.

The varing paths of the different personalities involved at the competition – all of whom dreamed of making it big in life – underlines just how cruel a mistress football can be, and the fact that in sport, as in life, only a select few make it to their end goal. All of the squad still play football for a living, though, and that is pretty big in itself.

Without further ado let us see where the Youth World Cup winning squad of Argentina are currently -

The Goalkeepers

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25:  Michael Gash (R) of Kidderminster controls the ball in the box ahead of Oscar Ustari the Sunderland goalkeeper during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Sunderland and Kidderminster Harriers at the Stadium of Light on January 25, 2014 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Oscar Ustari in action for Sunderland in the FA Cup

1. Oscar Ustari

The Starting Keeper for the dominant World Cup Champions, Ustari has had a journeyman’s career that has taken him across the planet.

Current Club: Club Atlas (Mexico)

Past Club(s):Independiente, Getafe, Boca Juniors, Almeria, Sunderland, Newell’s Old Boys

Biggest Club: Despite what David Moyes might tell you... Boca Juniors

12. Nereo Champagne

Currently second-in-command at the club they call the Cucumber Farmers, Champagne didn’t play a single game in the 2005 Youth World Cup

Current Club: Leganes (Spain)

Past Club(s): San Lorenzo, Ferro Carril Oeste, Olimpo

Biggest Club: San Lorenzo

21. Nicolas Navarro

Not only he does he have a World Cup Winner’s medal, he also has an Olympic Gold (2008) where he replaced an injured Oscar Ustari

Current Club: San Lorenzo (Argentina)

Past Club(s): Argentinos Juniors, Napoli, River Plate, Kayseripor, Tigre, Gimnasia y Esgrima

Biggest Club: Napoli

The Defenders

LEGANES, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 29:  Ezequiel Garay of Valencia CF celebrates after Valencia beat Leganes 3-1 in the Copa del Rey Round of 32 match between CD Leganes and Valencia CF at  Estadio Municipal de Butarque on November 29, 2016 in Leganes, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Ezequiel Garay celebrates what has sadly becoome a rare Valencia win

2. Gustavo Cabral

A centre-back by trade, he was Argentina’s right back at the Cup. He never feautured for the senior team, but has had a pretty decent club career.

Current Club: Celta de Vigo (Spain)

Past Club(s): Racing Club, River Plate, Tecos, Arsenal Sarandi, Levante

Biggest Club: River Plate

3. Lautaro Formica

A mainstay of the U-20 central defense, Formica never did follow the route that many of his teammates took, and stayed in the Americas

Current Club: Guarani Antonio Franco (Argentina)

Past Club(s): Newell’s Old Boys, San Lorenzo, Godoy Cruz, Huracan, Cerro Porteno, Asteras Tripolis, Talleras de Cordoba

Biggest Club: Newell’s Old Boys, San Lorenzo

4. Julio Barroso

Formica’s centre-back partner followed a similar trajectory, staying in the Americas for his club career

Current Club: Colo Colo (Chile)

Past Club(s): Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Racing Club, Lorca, Estudiantes, Nubiense, O’Higgins, Colo Colo

Biggest Club: Boca Juniors

6. Gabriel Paletta

One of the many Argentines who decided that it was better to shift allegiances than wait an eternity and never play for his national team, Paletta currently warms the benches of the senior Italian national team

Current Club: Atalanta (Italy)

Past Club(s): Banfield, Liverpool, Boca Juniors, Parma, AC Milan

Biggest Club: Yes, Yes, Herr Klopp... but AC Milan it is

13. Ezequiel Garay

If you have ever followed a summer’s worth of transfer rumours, you know who Garay is. The once highly rated centre-back is currently playing with the once-great Spanish greats Valencia

Current Club: Valencia (Spain)

Past Club(s): Newell’s Old Boys, Racing Santander, Real Madrid, Benfica, Zenit St. Petersburg, Valencia

Biggest Club: Real Madrid

14. David Abraham

Abraham is another one of Argentina’s highly rated centre-backs who have faded away into a relatively mediocre career

Current Club: Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany)

Past Club(s): Independiente, Gimnastic, FC Basel, 1899 Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt

Biggest Club: 1899 Hoffenheim, although Independiente does run them close

The Midfielders

PASADENA, CA - AUGUST 07:  Fernando Gago #5 of Real Madrid during the pre-season friendly soccer match against Los Angeles Galaxy on August 7, 2010 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Real Madrid will travel back to Spain after the soccer match completing their pre-season USA tour.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Fernando Gago celebrates a goal at Real Madrid with a man you may have heard of... Cristiano Ronaldo

5. Juan Manuel Torres

Better known as Chaco Torres, the defensive midfielder has had a proper hipster’s journeyman career

Current Club: Aktobe (Kazhakstan)

Past Club(s): Racing Club, San Lorenzo, Metallist Kharkiv, Atletico Defensores de Vielas

Biggest Club: Like so many others on the list, San Lorenzo

7. Lucas Biglia

A favourite of the recent senior national team Managers, the Argentine midfield destroyer has had a pretty succesful career

Current Club: Lazio (Italy)

Past Club(s): Argentinos Juniors, Independiente, Anderlecht

Biggest Club: Lazio

8. Pablo Zabaleta (captain)

We all know Zabaleta as a great right back, but at the Youth World Cup he was a box-to-box midfielder who scored three goals (the second highest for the team). Maybe Pep is onto something with that midfield experiment, eh?

Current Club: Manchester City (England)

Past Club(s): San Lorenzo, Espanyol, Manchester City

Biggest Club: San Lorenzo Manchester City

10. Patricio Perez

The central midfielder is another one who has had a journeyman career

Current Club: Once Caldas (Colombia)

Past Club(s): Velez Sarsfield, Leon, Chacarita, Everton, SM Tucuman, Defensa y Justicia, Central Coast Mariners, All Boys, Boca Unidos, Patronato

Biggest Club: Everton – for whom he played 15 times

11. Emiliano Armenteros

The midfielder will look back at his career and is likely to nod his head in satisfaction.

Current Club: Santos Laguna (Mexico)

Past Club(s): Banfield, Independiente, Sevilla B, Sevilla, Xerez, Rayo Vallecano, Osasuna, Chiapas, Santos Laguna

Biggest Club: Sevilla

15. Rodrigo Archubi

The winger barely made an appearance in the Youth World Cup, and has had a predominantly domestic career

Current Club: Sportivo Italiano (surprisingly... Argentina)

Past Club(s): Lanus, Olympiacos, River Plate, Juventude, Kazma, Boca Unidos

Biggest Club: River Plate

17. Fernando Gago

A regista who doubled up as a Claude Makelele replacement for Real Madrid, the Argentine was a wonderful player in his heyday and was a mainstay of the Argentina team that won the Youth World Cup

Current Club: Boca Juniors (Argentina)

Past Club(s): Boca Juniors, Real Madrid, Roma, Valencia, Velez Sarsfield

Biggest Club: Signor Francesco Totti may think otherwise, but there is only name that makes it here... Real Madrid


SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JULY 08:  (L-R) Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero stretch during a training session at Arena de Sao Paulo on July 8, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Messi and Aguero – what a story these two have shared

9. Pablo Vitti

The tricky wide forward, known for his dribbling ability, has played for a LOT of clubs

Current Club: Veria (Greece)

Past Club(s): Rosario Central, Banfield, Independiente, Chronomorets Odessa, Toronto FC, Universidad San Martin, Universitario de Deportes,Queretaro, LDU Quito, Tigre, San Martin de San Juan, All Boys

Biggest Club: Rosario Central

16. Neri Cardozo

Having started off life as a forward, he dropped a touch deeper and now plays as an attacking midfielder who has spent the majority of career playing in Mexico

Current Club: Querataro (Mexico)

Past Club(s): Boca Juniors, Chiapas, Monterrey

Biggest Club: Boca Juniors

18. Lionel Messi

You know who this is.

What you may not know though is that he won the Golden Boot (6 goals) and the Golden Ball at the Youth World Cup. He was also the ONLY non-Argentina based player at the time of the Cup

Current Club: Barcelona (Spain)

Past Club(s): Newell’s Old Boys (youth team), Barcelona C, Barcelona B, Barcelona

Biggest Club: Newell’s... sorry, Barcelona

19. Sergio Aguero

Sergio ‘Kun’ Aguero is one of the world’s deadliest strikers and having married Diego Armando Maradona’s daughter, he lived an average Argentine’s definition of Utopia. His recent crisis – in both his personal and professional life – shows that there is no such thing as Utopia

Current Club: Manchester City(England)

Past Club(s): Independiente, Atletico Madrid

Biggest Club: Manchester City (where he will forever be immortalised for ‘AGUEROOOOOOO’)

20. Gustavo Oberman

From starting of life as Leo Messi’s strike partner to becoming an impact substitute at Pune City FC, it’s been a long career of ups and downs for old Gustavo

Current Club: FC Pune City (India)

Past Club(s): Argentinos Juniors, River Plate, CD Castelellon, CFR Cluj, Cordoba, Argentinos Juniors, Quilmes, Olimpo, San Marcos de Arica

Biggest Club: No, no, Hrithik, sorry... River Plate

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Edited by Staff Editor
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