Lucas Biglia is yet another Argentinian central midfielder who combines technical ability and defensive solidity. Together with his tactical awareness, crisp passing and battling qualities, those attributes have made the 28-year-old a versatile performer who is highly regarded by Albiceleste coach Alejandro Sabella.

Biglia had not yet turned professional with Argentinos Juniors, the club where he received his footballing education, when he skippered his country to third place at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Norway 2003. And he had barely taken his first step in the national top flight when he joined the likes of Lionel Messi and Fernando Gago in taking Argentina to glory at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Netherlands 2005.

Independiente was his last stop before a move to Europe, where his displays with Anderlecht persuaded Sergio Batista to draft him into the full national team in February 2011 and to include him in the squad for the Copa America later that year. Though he has not always figured in Sabella’s plans, his excellent form in Belgium, which saw him elevated to the Anderlecht captaincy and score the goal that sealed the 2013 title, earned him a move to Lazio and a recall to the national side. Biglia made six appearances on the road to Brazil 2014, four of them as a starter towards the end of the campaign.