Argentina squad for Copa America announced: Lautaro Martinez picked ahead of clubmate Mauro Icardi
What's the story?
Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has announced his 23-man team for June's Copa America, with Atletico Madrid forward Angel Correa, Sevilla defender Gabriel Mercado and Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi being the notable omissions from the preliminary 40-man squad.
In case you didn't know...
The premier Latin American continental tournament is set to kick off in Brazil on 14th June and will include all 14 South American nations along with invitees Qatar and Japan.
Argentina is without a major international trophy since winning the Copa America way back 1993. This unwanted streak has seen the Albeceleste being ousted from the title of the country with most Copa America trophies with Uruguay now leading with 15 titles.
The continental cup will once again see the media glaring on Messi as he looks to silence his critics and guide his team to their record-equalling 15th Copa America title.
The heart of the matter
Luca Scaloni omitted Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi from the final 23-man squad for yet another major tournament after the 26-year old was omitted the 2018 FIFA World Cup by Sampaoli. The Argentina manager though has called up Lautaro Martinez who plays as the second fiddle to Mauro Icardi at Inter Milan.
Nicolas Otamendi has kept his place in the squad despite being used occasionally by Pep Guardiola this season while Gabriel Mercado misses out. The Alabcelesti has rewarded Watford winger Roberto Pereyra with a place in the 23-man after an impressive season for the Hornets.
Goalkeepers: Franco Armani (River Plate), Agustin Marchesin (Club America), Esteban Andrada (Boca Juniors)
Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Ramiro Funes Mori (Villarreal), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), German Pezzella (Fiorentina), Renzo Saravia (Racing), Juan Foyth (Tottenham Hotspur), Milton Casco (River Plate)
Midfielders: Angel Di Maria (PSG), Roberto Pereyra (Watford), Giovani Lo Celso (Real Betis), Leandro Paredes (PSG), Rodrigo De Paul (Udinese), Exequiel Palacios (River Plate), Guido Rodriguez (Club America)
Forwards: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan), Matias Suarez (River Plate)
Argentina along with Colombia, Paraguay and 2019 Asian Cup Champions Qatar have been drawn in Group B for the tournament. La Albiceleste's will kick start their campaign against Colombia on the 15th of June.