Messi Spearheads Argentina’s Copa America Defence

Lionel Messi will lead Argentina’s Copa América championship defence in the United States later this month.

Manager Lionel Scaloni said on Saturday that he is banking on a group packed with experience, including Miami-based Messi and Benfica’s Angel Di Maria, as well as the freshness of youth.

Argentina will defend their Copa América against Canada on June 20 in Atlanta. They will meet Chile on June 25 and Peru five days later.

Scaloni’s 26-player team also includes Manchester United teenager Alejandro Garnacho and Monza’s Valentin Carboni.

Scaloni has decided not to call up Argentina’s World Cup winners Paulo Dybala, the 30-year-old captain of Serie A’s Roma, Atletico Madrid’s Angel Correa, 29, or Marseille’s 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).

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