23 September 2014 01:24
Carlos Tevez was again left out of Argentina’s squad as captain and star striker Lionel Messi returned.
Messi missed last month’s 4-2 friendly win over world champions Germany with a groin injury but as expected, came straight back into Gerardo Martino’s squad to face Brazil and Hong Kong.
Martino’s first match in charge was the emphatic Germany win and the performance of star winger Angel di Maria on that occasion is sure to have filled him with confidence.
Di Maria provided three assists and scored in the absence of Messi as Argentina bounced back from their World Cup final defeat in style.
Tevez was said to be close to a return, having not played for Argentina since their quarter-final exit at the 2011 Copa America.
The 30-year-old played a key role in Juventus’ third successive Serie A crown last term, netting 19 goals in 34 appearances.
And the former Manchester United and Manchester City man is in outstanding form, having scored four goals in his last three appearances.
But Tevez’s international exile continued as Martino opted for just three forwards in his 19-man squad.
Messi will be joined by Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain in attack.
The squad was heavily Premier League-based, with eight of the 19 plying their trade in England’s top flight.
Argentina face Brazil and Hong Kong in friendlies next month as preparations for the 2015 Copa America continue.
Argentina: Nahuel Guzman (Tigres UANL), Sergio Romero (Sampdoria); Martin Demichelis (Manchester City), Federico Fernandez (Swansea City), Mateo Musacchio (Villarreal), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Santiago Vergini (Sunderland), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City); Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Angel di Maria (Manchester United), Nicolas Gaitan (Benfica), Erik Lamela (Tottenham), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Javier Pastore (PSG), Roberto Pereyra (Juventus), Enzo Perez (Benfica); Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), Lionel Messi (Barcelona)