Thiago Almada has already enjoyed a historic run with Argentina at the 2022 FIFA World Cup and added his name to more history on Tuesday.
Almada became the first active MLS player to reach a World Cup Final following Argentina’s 3-0 semifinal victory over Croatia. The 21-year-old attacker has only played six minutes for Lionel Scaloni’s squad, but has witnessed a meteoric rise with the national team in just three months.
Almada made his senior debut for La Albiceleste in September and was called into Scaloni’s final World Cup roster following two injuries. Argentina overcame a shocking 2-1 group stage loss to Saudi Arabia, to book its place in Sunday’s final against defending champions France.
A product of Velez Sarsfield, Almada made an instant impact in MLS in 2022, winning the league’s Newcomer of the Year award. Almada was one of the few bright spots for Atlanta United, scoring six goals and adding 12 assists as the Five Stripes missed the playoffs.
Should Almada lift the World Cup trophy on Sunday, he would become the 13th all-time MLS player to win the tournament. Former stars Kaka, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thierry Henry, and Andrea Pirlo are among that list.
Argentina is two-time World Cup winners, but have not lifted the trophy since 1986.