Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 June 2019

Sergio Aguero recalled as Lionel Messi leads Argentina's Copa America squad

Manchester City striker had been shunned since the World Cup but 21 Premier League goals and a starring role in a historic treble earned him a recall

Sergio Aguero, left, with team up with Lionel Messi as Argentina attempt to win the Copa America. AFP
Sergio Aguero, left, with team up with Lionel Messi as Argentina attempt to win the Copa America. AFP

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has been recalled to the Argentina squad for this summer's Copa America having previously been frozen out by manager Lionel Scaloni.

Aguero has not been part of an Argentina squad since they crashed out of the 2018 World Cup last-16 to eventual champions France, with Scaloni taking over following the failure in Russia.

However, 21 Premier League goals and his key role in City's historic English treble has earned the 30-year-old forward a call-up, and alongside Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, he will be aiming to guide Argentina to a first major trophy since they last won the Copa America in 1993.

Scaloni also retained Paulo Dybala in his 23-man squad named on Tuesday, despite the Juventus forward's lean season with the Italian giants.

There was no spot for Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi, who was again passed over after his season was interrupted for nearly two months because of a contract dispute with the Serie A club.

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Angel Di Maria also keeps his place in the squad and is among nine players retained from former manager Jorge Sampaoli's World Cup squad.

Messi returned to the Argentina fold in March to play in the 3-1 defeat to Venezuela. He will be keen to make amends at the Copa America after firing wide during the penalty shootout loss to Chile in the last final in 2016.

That defeat, which prompted Messi to retire from international football only to return later, was a carbon copy of the 2015 decider, when Argentina lost to hosts Chile in another penalty shootout.

Argentina, who will meet Colombia, Paraguay and Qatar in Group B, have reached the final in four of the past five tournaments dating back to 2004 but lost them all.

Their last success in the continental competition was in 1993, when they beat Mexico 2-1 in the final, which was also their last piece of major international silverware.

Argentina play a farewell friendly on June 7 against Nicaragua in the western province of San Juan before heading to the June 14-July 7 Copa America in Brazil.

They open the tournament against Colombia on June 15 in Salvador.

Updated: May 22, 2019 11:10 AM

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