When it comes to the biggest and most well-known national teams in the world, you pretty much know the handful of clubs that their players come from. That means, on the very rare occasion, do we ever get to see somebody who plays outside of a certain country’s top flight to get a call-up to the biggest national teams there are.
But a player that plies his trade in a certain country’s third division? Well, that’s usually reserved for very small national teams that don’t exactly have the aspirations that a, say, Argentina usually does at major tournaments.
Until Wednesday, that is.
Juventus youngster Matias Soulé, who is all of three months into his first season with the Under-23 squad in Serie C, has received a call-up to the Argentinian national team, it was announced Wednesday. Not Argentina’s Under-19 or Under-21 squad. The big one, folks. Soulé, who has all of 18 years of age and won’t turn 19 until April, will soon be training alongside Paulo Dybala and Lionel Messi when Argentina begins training next week in preparation for its World Cup qualifiers during the November international break.
Now, you may have done the math and counted things out, noting that Argentina’s roster consists of 34 players. But, even with the expanding roster numbers, it’s not exactly like we’ve been hearing any sort of rumblings that the 18-year-old Soulé is even close to cracking the senior squad’s roster.
And yet, here we are with arguably the brightest prospect Juve’s had in its youth setup getting quite the big-time call-up well before he’s close to becoming a regular with Max Allegri’s squad.
Soulé was one of the most impressive youngsters that was part of preseason training and the late-summer friendlies as most of the senior team worked their way back from their respective national team duties. In late September, Soulé extended his contract with Juventus through 2024 (with an option to extend it further until 2026), becoming one of a handful of Under-23 players — most notably the most valued teenagers — to sign on well into the future despite the fact they have yet to become a regular senior team member.
Now he’s headed to Argentina in a matter of days, flying back to his homeland with Dybala, a player who he’s probably grown up watching and will certainly hope to play alongside in the near future.