BUENOS AIRES: Argen­tina on Monday named a 29-man squad led by Lionel Messi for their final friendlies before the Copa America but there was no place for forward Paulo Dybala who has struggled with injuries.

Argentina will face Ecuador on June 9 at Sol­dier Field Stadium in Chi­cago and five days later play Guatemala at Comm­anders Field in Washington.

Coach Lionel Scaloni will have to cut three players from the list to meet the limit of 26 allowed by CONMEBOL for the Copa America, which starts on June 20.

In addition to Messi, Angel Di Maria, Nicolas Otamendi and other players who won the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Scaloni has included youngsters Leonardo Balerdi, Valentin Barco, Alejandro Garnacho and Valentin Carboni.

AS Roma forward Dybala is the big absentee after several injuries that have ruled him out of previous internationals.

Argentina kick off their Copa America campaign against Canada on June 20, face Chile five days later and Peru on June 29. The tournament in the United States runs until July 14.

Squad: Goalkeepers: Franco Armani (River Plate), Geronimo Rulli (Ajax) and Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa); Defenders: Gonzalo Montiel (Nottingham Forest), Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), Leonardo Balerdi (Olympique de Marseille), Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Lucas Martinez Quarta (Fiorentina), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United), Marcos Acuna (Sevilla), Nicolas Tagliafico (Lyon) and Valentin Barco (Brighton); Midfielders: Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis), Leandro Paredes (Roma), Alexis Mac Allister (Liverpool), Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Exequiel Palacios (Bayern Leverkusen), Enzo Fernandez (Chelsea), Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham Hotspur), Angel Di Maria (Benfica) and Valentin Carboni (AC Monza); Forwards: Lionel Messi (Inter Miami), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid), Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan) and Julian Alvarez (Manchester City).

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2024

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