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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Manchester United's Sergio Romero ruled out of Argentina squad for 2018 World Cup

  • Manager Sampaoli names Mexico-based keeper as replacement
  • Loss of experienced Romero a big blow for twice world champions 
Sergio Romero has been ruled out of Argentina's World Cup squad by a knee injury. Juan Mabromata / AFP
Sergio Romero has been ruled out of Argentina's World Cup squad by a knee injury. Juan Mabromata / AFP

Goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman was called into Argentina's World Cup squad on Tuesday as a replacement for Sergio Romero after the Manchester United player was cut from the team with a knee injury, the country's football federation (AFA) said.

Guzman, who plays for Mexican side Tigres, joins Chelsea's Willy Caballero and uncapped River Plate stopper Franco Armani in Argentina's 23-man squad for Russia.

Manager Jorge Sampaoli took just minutes to decide on Guzman after Romero's exclusion was announced on Tuesday.

Romero, who was widely expected to be Argentina's first-choice keeper, will need surgery on his right knee, the AFA said.

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The loss of the experienced Romero is a serious blow to a country that has struggled defensively in recent friendlies, losing 4-2 to Nigeria and 6-1 to Spain.

Guzman, the 32-year old former Newell's Old Boys keeper, has won three league titles in three years with Tigres and been capped six times for the national side but just once since 2015, in last summer's 6-0 friendly win over Singapore.

He will form part of the squad for Argentina's farewell friendly against Haiti at Boca Juniors' ground on May 29.

The two-time world champions and runners-up four years ago in Brazil also play Israel on June 9 before heading to Russia where they have been drawn in Group D with Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria.

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