Gerardo Martino started to bring in new faces to the Argentine national team prior to the squad’s match against Brazil in Beijing and their match against Hong Kong in October.
Lionel Messi obviously returned to the squad after speculation that he would be taking some time off and look to play only the “important matches” for the Albiceleste. The Argentine captain was not on Martino’s first list when they faced off against reigning World Cup champs Germany in a rematch of this past summer’s final at Maracanã.
Despite the callup, Martino did mention that there is a possibility that he would not play one of the matches. All signs would point that he would miss out on the second match of this international break when the Argentines would face Hong Kong.
There are various new faces on the Argentine national team. Villarreal Mateo Musacchio was on Martino’s radar since he took over and decided to bring him in to start to start to solidify the backline even more. Musacchio was one of the players that was left off the World Cup squad and throughout the qualifying phase under Alejandro Sabella, despite his form never coming into doubt with the Yellow Submarine. The man out of the mix with the callup of Musacchio was Fiorentina man JOsé María Basanta.
Midfielder Roberto Pereyra also will get a look from Martino. The man currently on loan from Udinese with an option to buy and so far has been able to impress under the tutelage of Maximiliano Allegri starting in two out of the three matches he’s played in as a member of La Vecchia Signora.
PSG’s Javier Pastore was a face disappeared from the national team for the past few years. Pastore was out of the mix with the national team since back in 2011 when Argentina lost to Venezuela in World Cup qualifying play.
The big question mark was that of Lazio midfielder Lucas Biglia. The former Anderlecht man suffered an injury this past weekend and was being ruled out for the two matches in Asia.
After lots of specualtion, the biggest absence on this list was that of Juventus man Carlos Tevez. Although there was a great deal of talk regarding the return of the former Manchester City and United man, he did not get on the list once again.
According to AFA, this list will most likely be expanded as there will be some domestic league players that will be added. One of the players that will not be at the disposal of Martino is River Plate midfielder Matías Kranevitter, who suffered a fracture to his foot in the 4-1 win against Independiente and will miss out on the remainder of the season for the defending Argentine league champs.
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria-ITA), Nahuel Guzman (Tigres-MEX)
Defenders: Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City-ENG), Santiago Vergini (Sunderland-ENG), Martín Demichelis (Manchester City-ENG), Mateo Musacchio (Villarreal CF-ESP), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United-ENG), Federico Fernández (Swansea City-WAL)
Midfielders: Lucas Biglia (Lazio-ITA), Javier Mascherano (FC Barcelona-ESP), Roberto Pereyra (Juventus-ITA), Ángel Di María (Manchester United- ENG), Javier Pastore (PSG-FRA), Enzo Pérez (Benfica-POR), Nicolás Gaitán (Benfica-POR)
Forwards: Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli-ITA), Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona-ESP) Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur-ENG), Sergio Agüero (Manchester City-ENG)