Tevez to miss friendly

Carlos Tevez has been left out of Argentina’s squad for the friendly with Portugal on February 9 in Switzerland but national team boss Sergio Batista does not want the Manchester City striker to be worried by his omission.

Carlos Tevez has been left out of Argentina’s squad for the friendly with Portugal on February 9 in Switzerland but national team boss Sergio Batista does not want the Manchester City striker to be worried by his omission.

Batista has also left out Sergio Aguero, Martin Demichelis, Gabriel Heinze, Mario Bolatti and Andres D’Alessandro for the friendly in Switzerland.

Batista said: “I have no problems with any of them. It’s just a matter that I want to see other players.

“I wish to have 20 games before the Copa America, but I don’t, so I have to take each chance. I left them out for one match, it’s not that they’re out of the national team.”

Batista pointed out that the Copa America was his only target at this point and he did not have any problem with players who had shown loyalty to his predecessor Diego Maradona.

“I have a group of players who will be there, and who already know a lot since the 2008 Olympic Games (Batista coached the gold medal-winning team). But I have to give matches to some to see them and test them.”

Among these new players will be Velez Sarsfield forward Juan Manuel Martinez, who is called up for the first time, and Spartak Moscow’s defender Marcos Rojo.

Batista plans to use Barcelona’s Lionel Messi as centre forward and will use Ezequiel Lavezzi, Angel Di Maria, Nicolas Gaitan and Juan Manuel Martinez in support roles.

“Lionel doesn’t need to win a World Cup to prove that he’s the best player in the world,” said Batista.

“With his age, winning all what he has won already, that’s very difficult to do.

“It’s hard to believe that some people say that he has no personality, or that he’s not mature yet.

“To play in a team like Barcelona and do what he does, you have to have all that. We’re looking at one of the best players ever; we have to build a team around him.”

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox