Lionel Scaloni names Argentina squad to face Guatemala and Colombia

Next month, Argentina will play two friendlies in the United States of America: against Guatemala in Los Angeles on the 7th September, and against Colombia in New Jersey on the 11th. On Friday, interim manager Lionel Scaloni named his squad for the friendlies. Lionel Messi is the most high-profile omission – he’s taking a break from the national team to recharge batteries until the end of the year – but there is also no place for a number of other veterans. The full list is here.

Goalkeepers
Sergio Romero (Manchester United)
Gerónimo Rulli (Real Sociedad)
Franco Armani (River Plate)

Defenders
Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla)
Marcos Acuña (Sporting CP)
Ramiro Funes Mori (Villarreal)
Germán Pezzella (Fiorentina)
Eduardo Salvio (Benfica)
Nicolás Tagliafico (Ajax)
Walter Kannemann (Grêmio)
Alan Franco (Independiente)
Leonel Di Plácido (Lanús)
Fabricio Bustos (Independiente)

Midfielders
Maxi Meza (Independiente)
Matías Vargas (Vélez Sarsfield)
Franco Cervi (Benfica)
Franco Vázquez (Sevilla)
Giovani Lo Celso (Paris Saint-Germain)
Leandro Paredes (Zenit St. Petersburg)
Santiago Ascacíbar (Stuttgart)
Rodrigo Battaglia (Sporting CP)
Exequiel Palacios (River Plate)
Gonzalo Martínez (River Plate)

Forwards
Cristian Pavón (Boca Juniors)
Ángel Correa (Atlético de Madrid)
Lautaro Martínez (Internazionale)
Mauro Icardi (Internazionale)
Giovanni Simeone (Fiorentina)
Paulo Dybala (Juventus)

Franco Vázquez’s inclusion is possible, as we discussed on the brand-new episode of Hand Of Pod, because the AFA gained permission from FIFA to call him up even though he has already played for Italy. Since his appearances were only in friendlies, this is permitted. The other main headlines are first callups for River Plate playmaker Gonzalo Martínez and Vélez Sarsfield attacking midfielder Matías Vargas, as well as the tantalising possibility of seeing an all-Inter strike duo involving Mauro Icardi and Lautaro Martínez, who’ve linked well in pre-season, depending on the formation Scaloni picks.

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