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Argentina's forgotten man Tevez, back in thick of action

October 28, 2014 10:12 IST
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Carlos Tevez

Carlos Tevez celebrates. Photograph: Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Argentina's forgotten man Carlos Tevez has been included in the squad for the first time in three years for next month's friendlies in England against Croatia and Portugal.

The 30-year-old striker, dubbed the 'People's Player' by former coach Diego Maradona, last played for his country at the 2011 Copa America on home soil and missed this year's World Cup in Brazil despite scintillating form for Juventus.

Tevez was among four forwards, the others being captain Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain, named in the squad posted on the Argentine FA's website (www.afa.org.ar) on Monday.

Coach Gerardo Martino's side play Croatia at West Ham United's Upton Park ground in London on Nov. 12 and Portugal six days later at Manchester United's Old Trafford where Tevez spent two years from 2007-09.

His last action in an Argentina shirt came when he missed the penalty that sealed their elimination by Uruguay in a Copa America quarter-final shootout after a 1-1 draw in July 2011.

Tevez's recall could eventually mean the former Boca Juniors, Corinthians, West Ham, Manchester United and ManchesterCity striker will get a chance to help Argentina win the Copa America title held by Uruguay in Chile next year.

The forward, capped 64 times, played at the 2006 and 2010 World Cup but was overlooked by coach Alejandro Sabella for the tournament in Brazil this year when Argentina reached the final before losing to Germany.

Sabella resistance

Alejandro Sabella of Argentina

Alejandro Sabella of Argentina. Photograph: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Sabella resisted widespread calls to select Tevez who took Serie A by storm when he helped Juventus lift the title last season with 19 goals. He has also notched six in eight league games this term.

Media reports in Argentina said there was resistance to Tevez among the team captained by Messi. Sabella said his selections were down to tactics and squad harmony.

Others argued against Tevez, regarded by many as an individualist, and pointed to a mediocre international goal tally of 13.

Martino also called up uncapped ManchesterCity goalkeeper Wilfredo Caballero, understudy to England number one Joe Hart at the Premier League champions, on Monday.

World Cup central defender Ezequiel Garay is also in the squad, having missed Martino's first three matches in charge, a 4-2 win in Germany in September followed by a 2-0 defeat to Brazil and 7-0 rout of Hong Kong in two Asian tour matches this month.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria), Wilfredo Caballero (ManchesterCity), Nahuel Guzman (UANL Tigres)

Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Valencia), Cristian Ansaldi (Atletico Madrid), Facundo Roncaglia (Genoa), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Martin Demichelis, Pablo Zabaleta (both Manchester City), Federico Fazio (Tottenham Hotspur), Federico Fernandez (Swansea City), Ezequiel Garay (Zenit St Petersburg)

Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Roberto Pereyra (Juventus), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Angel Di Maria (Manchester United), Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur), Javier Pastore (Paris St Germain), Enzo Perez, Nicolas Gaitan (both Benfica)

Forwards: Carlos Tevez (Juventus), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), Sergio Aguero (ManchesterCity).

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Source: REUTERS
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