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Monday, April 22, 2024

World Cup Heroes Highlight Argentina’s Squad to Face Costa Rica, El Salvador

The star Lionel Messi heads the roster of the world champion Argentine national team that coach Lionel Scaloni announced this Friday for the upcoming March friendlies against Costa Rica and El Salvador, to be played in the United States.

For these preparation matches for the next Copa América-2024, which will also be played on American soil, Scaloni called up 26 players who play abroad, including several members of the team that won in Qatar-2022.

However, the coach of La Albiceleste reserved some surprises, such as the call-up of young lateral Valentín Barco, who came through Boca Juniors and was recently signed by Brighton, who is coming off a very good performance with the U-23 national team that qualified for the Paris-2024 Olympics in Venezuela.

In defense, Scaloni called up central defender Marcos Senesi, who plays for Bournemouth, in place of the injured Lisandro Martínez (Manchester United), and also brought back Paulo Dybala, having a great season with AS Roma, who was absent from the latest matches.

Seeking to boost a renovation at some positions, the manager also called up Facundo Buonanotte (Brighton), Valentín Carboni (Monza, Italy) and Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United).

Without several world champions

On the other hand, other players were not called up due to physical problems or tactical reasons, among them Gonzalo Montiel (Nottingham Forest, England), Marcos Acuña (Sevilla, Spain), Guido Rodríguez (Real Betis, Spain) and Thiago Almada (Atlanta United).

The world champion Albiceleste will first play against El Salvador on March 22 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, and four days later they will face Costa Rica at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Originally, Argentina was going to play friendlies in China in March against the African teams Nigeria and Ivory Coast, but the Asian tour was canceled and at the last minute the Argentine Football Association (AFA) had to look for alternatives for the international window, which is why it found a response in the Central American teams.

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