Argentina announce 40-man precursory Copa America 2019 Squad
Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has announced a 40-man precursory squad for this year Copa America to be held in Brazil. Barcelona lucky charm Lionel Messi will be the captain of the squad which consists of Europe’s top superstars like Ángel Di María, Sergio Aguero and Paolo Dybala among the other.
Notable exclusions include Ever Banega, Erik Lamela, Sergio Romero, Ezequiel Garay and Manuel Lanzini.
In case you didn’t know…
Argentina finished as runners-up in both the 2015 Copa and the 2016 Copa America Centenario, both times to Chile. They are just behind record winners Uruguay (15 titles) as the most successful side in Copa America history with 14 title wins.
La Albiceleste last won the title way back in 1993 when a Gabriel Batistuta-inspired side defeated Colombia in the finals. With Messi already 31 years of age, and the next World Cup being only in 2022, this year’s Copa is the best opportunity for La Pulga to add a major international trophy to his name.
The heart of the matter
Lionel Scaloni has named only 11 out of the 23 players who were a part of the 2018 World Cup squad. The manager has chosen to call up some promising youngsters along with some experienced hands. Man City’s veteran center-back Nicolas Otamendi was called up despite not being first-choice anymore at Man City while Sergio Aguero received a recall following his terrific goalscoring efforts for City. Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi made the squad despite playing very limited minutes at the San Sira, with him and the club management at loggerheads over his contract.
Veteran playmaker Ever Banega was omitted in favour of younger blood in the form of 21-year-old Racing midfielder Federico Zaracho and 20-year-old River Plate sensation Exequiel Palacios. Watford’s electric winger Roberto Pereyra has been selected, along with fellow Premier League star Juan Foyth of Tottenham Hotspur.
Full Team (40 member preliminary squad, will be cut down to 23 before the start of the tournament)
Goalkeepers: Franco Armani (River Plate), Geronimo Rulli (Real Sociedad), Agustin Marchesin (Club America), Esteban Andrada (Boca Juniors), Juan Musso (Udinese)
Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Ramiro Funes Mori (Villarreal), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), German Pezzella (Fiorentina), Walter Kannemann (Gremio), Renzo Saravia (Racing), Juan Foyth (Tottenham Hotspur)
Midfielders: Angel Di Maria (PSG), Roberto Pereyra (Watford), Giovani Lo Celso (Real Betis), Leandro Paredes (PSG), Maximiliano Meza (Monterrey), Rodrigo De Paul (Udinese), Exequiel Palacios (River Plate), Guido Rodriguez (Club America), Ivan Marcone (Boca Juniors), Federico Zaracho (Racing)
Forwards: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid), Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan), Gonzalo Martinez (Atlanta United), Matias Suarez (River Plate)
Scaloni will trim the 40-man preliminary squad to 23 before the start of Copa America 2019. Argentina is drawn in Group B for the tournament, along with Colombia, Paraguay and 2019 Asian Cup Champions Qatar. La Albiceleste’s first match will be against James Rodriguez-led Colombia on 15th June.