Ayala keeping Argentina door open

BUENOS AIRES - New Racing Club recruit Roberto Ayala has not ruled out a return to the Argentina team he captained a record 63 times if called up, the central defender said on Thursday.

"I didn't shut the door on the national team. If I can be important for the squad, I won't say no (to a call-up)," the 36-year-old, who has joined Racing as a free agent from Real Zaragoza after 15 seasons in Europe, told reporters.

Ayala, who played at two World Cups and won an Olympic gold medal with Argentina at the Athens Games in 2004, won the last of his 115 caps in the 2007 Copa America final against Brazil in Venezuela.