Argentina have decided to leave Boca Juniors striker Carlos Tevez out of their squad for the Copa America Centenario to be held in the United States next month.
Tevez, who helped Boca reach the Copa Libertadores semi-finals on Thursday, was not on the 23-man list coach Gerardo Martino announced on Friday for the June 3-26 tournament.
With Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero named as the central strikers, Tevez, 32, was deemed surplus to requirements despite having been part of last year’s Copa squad in Chile.
Rosario Central centre back Javier Pinola missed out after breaking his leg in a Copa Libertadores match last week, and veteran right back Pablo Zabaleta of Manchester City also became unavailable after deciding to have surgery for an ankle problem.
Independiente’s Victor Cuesta earned his first Argentina call-up in place of Pinola, boosting to four the number of home-based players in the squad.
Argentina, captained by Lionel Messi, are targeting victory in the tournament after failing to succeed at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where they lost to eventual winners Germany, and the 2015 Copa America as hosts Chile beat them on penalties.
This year’s Copa America marks the centenary of the South American tournament first played in Buenos Aires in 1916 and won by Uruguay, who hold a record 15 titles, one more than Argentina.
Six teams from the CONCACAF region comprising North and Central America and the Caribbean have been drafted into the 16-nation event.
Argentina meet Chile, Bolivia and Panama in Group D.
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Nahuel Guzman (UANL Tigres), Mariano Andujar (Estudiantes)
Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Victor Cuesta (Independiente), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Facundo Roncaglia (Fiorentina), Ramiro Funes Mori (Everton), Gabriel Mercado, Jonathan Maidana (both River Plate),
Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Matias Kranevitter, Augusto Fernandez (both Atletico Madrid), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Angel Di Maria, Javier Pastore (both Paris St Germain), Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur)
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Hebei Fortune), Nicolas Gaitan (Benfica)