“Every day that I wake up with motivation for my family, for the club, for all my teammates,” Almada said in September of possibly playing again for Argentina. “So I just have to continue working with humility and sacrifice.”
Almada’s inclusion in the World Cup likely will increase his transfer value, should clubs make an offer. Vice President Carlos Bocanegra said Monday that the club hadn’t received any official offers. Atlanta United acquired Almada from Velez Sarsfield in Argentina for a reported fee of $14.5 million.
“First and foremost, we couldn’t be happier for Thiago to have the opportunity to represent Argentina at the FIFA World Cup,” Bocanegra said in a news release from the team. “He’s consistently shown his quality and has proven to be a top player deserving of this call-up. This is a proud moment for the club and we’re confident he’ll represent both Atlanta United and Major League Soccer with world-class skill on the game’s biggest stage.”
Almada, 21 years old, will join a loaded Argentina team that ranks among the favorites to win the World Cup. Argentina has won it twice.
The team, managed by Lionel Scaloni, includes Messi, Lisandro Martinez, Nicolas Otamendi, Angel di Maria, Lautaro Martinez, Paulo Dybala and Julian Alvarez. Almada replaced Joaquín Correa.
A post on Twitter quoted Almada’s father telling Radio La Red that Almada called him to tell him, and “he was crying, shouting and warning me of his call up to the World Cup.”
For more content about Atlanta United
Follow me on Twitter @DougRobersonAJC
On Facebook at Atlanta United News Now
On Instagram at DouglasDavidRoberson
Atlanta United coverage on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Southern Fried Soccer podcast can be found
Apple - https://apple.co/3ISD6Ve
Spotify - https://spoti.fi/3L8TN0C
Google podcasts - https://bit.ly/32KlZW3
If you are listening to us for the first time, please follow us on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast ... and if you like what you hear, please give us a good rating so we can grow the show. If you have questions about the MLS team, you can email Doug Roberson at firstname.lastname@example.org, DM him on Twitter @dougrobersonajc or call 770-810-5297.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a special offer for Atlanta United supporters and listeners to this podcast. If you subscribe today, you will not only get unlimited digital access to the AJC and the Sunday paper for $2.30 a week but we are also throwing in a special limited-edition Atlanta United and Atlanta Journal-Constitution scarf. So sign up now at subscribe.ajc.com/utdscarf.