Messi, Aguero and Gago in Argentina football team for Olympics

June 27th, 2008 - 3:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Buenos Aires, June 27 (Xinhua) Argentine coach Sergio Batista has announced his under-23 national soccer team for August’s Olympic Games. The 15-man roster includes Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Atletico de Madrid) and Fernando Gago (Real Madrid) and Batista is expected to add three more players by July 23.

Meanwhile, Ramon Riquelme (Boca Juniors/Argentina), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool/ England) and Fabricio Coloccini (Deportivo La Coruna/Spain) will be the three senior members in the team. Coloccini, if his club does not reject to lend him, will replace Martin Demichelis.

From the three remaining places, one choice is likely to be made among the forwards Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Laurato Acosta (Sevilla) and Mauro Zarate (Birmingham/England).

The others could be the midfielder Diego Buonanotte (River Plate) and Damian Escudero (Velez Sarsfield).

Batista is waiting for the evolution in the lesion of the defence Ezequiel Garay (Racing de Santander), who would captain the team if in good physical conditions.

“There are many good players, but one must think that you can’t put one over the other, but to chose what is better for the team balance, ” Batista Thursday told TyC Sports TV channel.

Batista said that Messi would be in Beijing because the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) oblige the clubs to concede the player under 23 years old.

Batista denied Messi having differences with Riquelme, although he added that if the need be “they will be talked to as I want them both in the Olympic Games.”

The squad:

Goalkeeper: Oscar Ustari (Getafe-Spain) and Sergio Romero (Az Alkmaar- Holland)

Defenders: Pablo Zabaleta (Espanyol-Spain), Ezequiel Garay (Racing de Santander-Sapin), Fabricio Coloccini (Deportivo la Coruna-Spain) Federico Fazio (Sevilla-Spain) and Fabian Monzon (Doca Juniros-Argentina)

Midfielder: Fernando Gago (Real Madrid-Spian, Ever Banega (Valencia-Spain), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool-England), Juan Ramon Riquelme (Boca Juniors-Argentina) and Jose Sosa (Bayern Munich-Germany)

Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid-Spain), Lionel Messi (Barcelona-Spain) and Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli-Italy).

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