Veron added to Argentina squad for France friendly

BUENOS AIRES - Estudiantes midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron has earned a recall to the Argentina squad for next week's friendly international in France.

Veron, voted Latin American Player of the Year in 2008 in a respected poll conducted by Uruguayan newspaper El Pais, was one of five local-based players added to the squad by coach Diego Maradona on Tuesday.

The former Lazio, Manchester United and Chelsea player made his last international appearance in the World Cup qualifier at home to Ecuador last June, when he won his 62nd cap.

The 33-year-old's previous appearance was in the 2007 Copa America final when Argentina suffered a crushing 3-0 defeat against arch-rivals Brazil.

Playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme was excluded from the squad, with local media saying he was omitted so that he could play for Boca Juniors in an Argentine championship match against Gimnasia-Jujuy on Sunday evening.

Argentina face France on February 11 in Marseille, their second game since Maradona was surprisingly named coach. In his first outing, Argentina beat Scotland 1-0 away in November.

The foreign-based players were named last week.

Goalkeepers: Juan Pablo Carrizo (Lazio), Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar)

Defenders: Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich), Gabriel Heinze (Real Madrid), Daniel Diaz (Getafe), Nicolas Burdisso (Inter Milan), Walter Samuel (Inter Milan), Marcos Angeleri (Estudiantes), Emiliano Papa (Velez Sarsfield)

Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Fernando Gago (Real Madrid), Maxi Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid), Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle United), Luis Gonzalez (Porto), Juan Sebastian Veron (Estudiates), Daniel Montenegro (Independiente), Cristian Ledesma (San Lorenzo)

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Carlos Tevez (Manchester United), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli), Lisandro Lopez (Porto), German Denis (Napoli), Angel Di Maria (Benfica)