BUENOS AIRES (AFP) — Diego Maradona, confirmed as Argentina coach here on Tuesday, has named his squad for his first game in charge, the November 19 friendly against Scotland.
And one notable absentee from his 20-player list was Lionel Messi.
Maradona was required to leave out the influential playmaker to honour a deal struck between the Argentina Football Federation and the player's club, Barcelona.
Under the agreement Barca freed up Messi to play for Argentina at the Beijing Olympics but in return would be allowed to hold on to him for domestic duty for international friendly fixtures such as the date with Scotland.
Figuring in Maradona's first squad though were Manchester United's Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero of Atletico Madrid, and Liverpool's Javier Mescherano.
"Mascherano will be captain," Maradona has already said.
"He has all the qualities I look for in a captain. He's the one that thinks the most, who has the spirit of sacrifice, is the most professional and has the ear of his teammates."
Goalkeepers: Juan Pablo Carrizo (Lazio/ITA), Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar/NED)
Defenders: Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan/ITA), Nicolas Burdisso (Inter Milan/ITA), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich/GER), Daniel Daaz (Getafe/ESP) Gabriel Heinze (Real Madrid/ESP), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle/ENG)
Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Liverpool/ENG), Maximiliano Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Angel Di Maria (Benfica/POR), Fernando Gago (Real Madrid/ESP), Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle/ENG), Luis Gonzalez (Porto/POR), Jose Sosa (Bayern Munich/GER)
Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Carlos Tevez (Manchester United/ENG), Lisandro Lopez (Porto/POR), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli/ITA), German Denis (Napoli/ITA)
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