15.06.2024 20:37 h

Messi spearheads Argentina's Copa America defence

Lionel Messi will spearhead Argentina's Copa America title defence in the United States later this month.

Manager Lionel Scaloni said on Saturday he was relying on a squad brimming with the experience of the likes of Miami-based Messi and Benfica's Angel Di Maria with the freshness of youth.

World Cup champions Argentina begin their Copa defence against Canada on June 20 in Atlanta. They then face Chile on June 25 and Peru five days later.

Joining the thirty-something veterans in Scaloni's 26-player squad are Manchester United teenager Alejandro Garnacho and Valentin Carboni of Italian side Monza.

Scaloni has elected not to call up either Argentina's World Cup champions Paulo Dybala, the 30-year-old captain of Serie A's Roma, Atletico Madrid defender Angel Correa, 29, or Marseille defender Lucas Balerdi.

Argentina squad

Goalkeepers: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa/ENG), Franco Armani (River Plate),Geronimo Rulli (Ajax/NED)

Defenders: Gonzalo Montiel (Nottingham Forest/ENG), Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Nicolas Tagliafico (Lyon/FRA), Marcos Acuna (Sevilla/ESP), Cristian Romero (Tottenham/ENG), German Pezzella (Real Betis/ESP), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica/POR), Lucas Martinez Quarta (Fiorentina/ITA), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United/ENG)

Midfielders: Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis/ESP), Leandro Paredes (Roma/ITA), Alexis Mac Allister (Liverpool/ENG), Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Enzo Fernandez (Chelsea/ENG), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Giovani Lo Celso (Totthenham/ENG)

Forwards: Angel Di Maria (Benfica/POR), Lionel Messi (Inter Miami/USA), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan/ITA), Julian Alvarez (Manchester City/ENG), Valentin Carboni (Monza/ITA), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina/ITA), Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United/ENG).