Tevez retains place in Argentina plans

BUENOS AIRES - Striker Carlos Tevez, who seemed to be out of Argentina's Copa America plans little more than a month ago, was named on Saturday in the hosts' 23-man squad for the tournament.

There were no surprises among coach Sergio Batista's selections, posted on the Argentine Football Association's website five days after their last warm-up - a 4-0 rout of Albania at the Monumental.

Batista dropped three home-based players from those named in his provisional squad - Boca Juniors defender Luciano Monzon, Lanus midfielder Diego Valeri and Estudiantes winger Enzo Perez.

Goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo of River Plate, on loan from Lazio, is the only man in the squad to have played his club football in Argentina this season.

Tevez was dropped by Batista last year over a no-show for a friendly against arch-rivals Brazil in Qatar which Argentina won 1-0 with a goal by Lionel Messi.

However, the coach and player had a heart-to-heart and Tevez, who last season became the first Argentine to finish as top goalscorer in the English Premier League, was included in Batista's provisional 26-man squad on June 1.

The immensely popular Manchester City captain's inclusion was reported as being at least partly down to the fans' clamour.

Tevez was a second-half substitute against Albania on Monday, scoring the fourth goal in added time as Batista displayed his 4-3-3 tactics with Messi as a roving centre-forward.

Favourites Argentina open the tournament against Group A rivals Bolivia in La Plata on Friday.

The final is scheduled for July 24.


Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Juan Pablo Carrizo (River Plate).

Defenders: Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Nicolas Burdisso (AS Roma), Nicolas Pareja, Marcos Rojo (both Spartak Moscow), Gabriel Milito (Barcelona), Ezequiel Garay (Real Madrid).

Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Esteban Cambiasso (Inter Milan), Lucas Biglia (Anderlecht), Ever Banega (Valencia), Fernando Gago, Angel Di Maria (both Real Madrid), Javier Pastore (Palermo).

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Diego Milito (Inter Milan), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli).