It’s hard to tell whether the buzz for Alejandro Sabello’s Argentina roster for a March 5 friendly against Romania is more about who’s on the list or who’s off it.
There are surprising inclusions on the 22-man roster, thought the names not included are some notable ones: Carlos Tevez (Juventus), Erik Lamela (Spurs), Esteban Cambiasso (Inter Milan) and Julian Speroni (Crystal Palace).
Tevez hasn’t played for his country since 2011 and apparently his club form — he has 14 goals for The Old Lady this season — has not swayed Sabello. Meanwhile, Lamela’s World Cup hopes have suffered along with his playing time at White Hart Lane.
Our pals at Soccerly note the roster’s three biggest surprises:
Former Porto defender Nicolás Otamendi makes his return to the national team after heading to Brazilian side Atlético-MG.
Another former Vélez man getting a look is also Gino Peruzzi as Sabella looks to observe another option at right back. Peruzzi has been a callup of Sabella’s twice already in the 2012 edition of the Clásico de las Americas and also was part of the national team when Argentina played Venezuela and Bolivia in March of last season.
Another surprise in Sabella’s list was that of Getafe’s Lisandro López. The stalwart for Arsenal’s title-winning side last year is now looking to earn a spot at central defender as that position is still wide open for the taking.
Here’s the full list:
Messi, Lionel – FC Barcelona (ESP)
Mascherano, Javier – FC Barcelona FC (ESP)
Sosa, José – Atlético de Madrid (ESP)
Di María, Ángel – Real Madrid (ESP)
Fernández, Augusto – Celta de Vigo (ESP)
López, Lisandro – Getafe (ESP)
Campagnaro, Hugo – Inter (ITA)
Álvarez, Ricardo – Inter (ITA)
Palacio, Rodrigo – Inter (ITA)
Higuaín, Gonzalo – Napoli (ITA)
Fernández, Federico -Napoli (ITA)
Andújar, Mariano – Catania (ITA)
Peruzzi, Gino – Catania (ITA)
Biglia, Lucas – Lazio (Italia)
Agüero, Sergio – Manchester City (ENG)
Zabaleta, Pablo – Manchester City (ENG)
Lavezzi, Ezequiel – Paris-Saint Germain (FRA)
Romero, Sergio – AS Mónaco (FRA)
Garay, Ezequiel – SL Benfica (POR)
Rojo, Marcos – Sporting Lisbon (POR)
Basanta, José – Monterrey (MEX)
Otamendi, Nicolás – Atlético Mineiro (BRA)