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‘People’s Player’ Carlos Tevez returns to Argentina fold

‘People’s Player’ Carlos Tevez returns to Argentina fold
Argentina’s forgotten man Carlos Tevez has been included in the squad for the first time in three years for next month’s friendlies in England against Croatia and Portugal. The 30-year-old striker, dubbed the ‘People’s Player’ by former coach Diego Maradona, last played for his country at the 2011 Copa America on home soil and missed this year’s World Cup in Brazil despite scintillating form for Juventus.

Tevez was among four forwards, the others being captain Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain, named in the squad posted on the Argentine FA’s website (www.afa.org.ar) on Monday.

Coach Gerardo Martino’s side play Croatia at West Ham United’s Upton Park ground in London on Nov. 12 and Portugal six days later at Manchester United’s Old Trafford where Tevez spent two years from 2007-09. His last action in an Argentina shirt came when he missed the penalty that sealed their elimination by Uruguay in a Copa America quarterfinal shootout after a 1-1 draw in July 2011.

Tevez’s recall could eventually mean the former Boca Juniors, Corinthians, West Ham, Manchester United and Manchester City striker will get a chance to help Argentina win the Copa America title held by Uruguay in Chile next year. The forward, capped 64 times, played at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups but was overlooked by coach Alejandro Sabella for the tournament in Brazil this year when Argentina reached the final before losing to Germany.

Squad Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria), Wilfredo Caballero (Manchester City). Nahuel Guzman (UANL Tigres) Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Valencia), Cristian Ansaldi (Atletico Madrid), Facundo Roncaglia (Genoa), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Martin Demichelis, Pablo Zabaleta (both Manchester City), Federico Fazio (Tottenham Hotspur), Federico Fernandez (Swansea City), Ezequiel Garay (Zenit). Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Roberto Pereyra (Juventus), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Angel Di Maria (Manchester United), Erik Lamela (Tottenham), Javier Pastore (Paris St Germain), Enzo Perez, Nicolas Gaitan (both Benfica). Forwards: Carlos Tevez (Juventus), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), Sergio Aguero (Man City).
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