Grondona: Tevez absent over attitude
"I think Tevez's absence is because of an attitude he had when he didn't come to play (against Brazil in November) and then did so for his club. The coaching staff didn't like that attitude," Grondona said of the Manchester City striker.
Speaking to Radio Pop, Grondona added that Tevez's omission had nothing to do with him voicing his support for Diego Maradona when the former coach was not retained by Grondona after last year's World Cup in South Africa.
Tevez missed the friendly against Brazil in Qatar on November 17 - Argentina coach Sergio Batista's first match in charge since being confirmed in the job after three matches as caretaker - with City saying he was nursing a muscle problem.
The following weekend Tevez played for City against Fulham in the Premier League.
When Batista named his squad on January 25 to face Portugal, he said he was resting several players including Tevez in order to look at other options. This was a surprise given that Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain was out after back surgery.
Diego Milito was included as a recognised centre-forward but the Inter Milan striker withdrew this week through injury.
Batista, who had hinted he wanted to try out Lionel Messi in a central striking role, has named the following team:
Argentina: Sergio Romero; Javier Zanetti, Nicolas Burdisso, Gabriel Milito, Marcos Rojo; Ever Banega, Javier Mascherano, Esteban Cambiasso; Ezequiel Lavezzi, Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria.