COPA AMERICA

Argentina national team squad Copa America 2021: selected players, absences...

The 2021 Copa America kicks off in Brazil after being moved from Argentina/Colombia with Lionel Messi dreaming of lifting the trophy.

0
Argentina national team squad Copa America 2021: selected players, absences...
Gabriel Aponte Getty Images

After Colombia and then Argentina were ruled out of hosting the delayed Copa America, Brazil forward and accepted the role. But can one of the greatest players of all time lead his own proud nation to glory against the team that are now home favourites. He's certainly dreaming that this could be his time, with this current iteration of the Argentina national squad.

Argentina need Messi firing for Copa America

Argentina striker Lionel Messi confessed on Sunday that he worries about contracting covid-19, a day before he kicks off another Copa America with the national side amid a spate of infections among rival teams. Players or officials from Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela tested positive for the virus even before the South American tournament kicked off on Sunday evening in Brasilia.

Messi, who will line up for Argentina in their opener against Chile in Rio de Janeiro on Monday, said the fear of contracting the virus was widespread in the squad.

"It worries us because it is a risk for everyone catching covid," he told reporters. "We try to be careful but it’s not easy. These things happen."

"We'll try to do all we can so no one gets it but sometimes it doesn't depend solely on ourselves."

Messi is not believed to have been vaccinated, even though the South American Football Confederation said in April it had received vaccinations and aimed to give all international players shots before the Copa America kicked off.

Argentina was due to host this year's Copa America but withdrew at the last minute due to a surge of covid-19 cases. The tournament was moved to Brazil, even though the death toll there is higher than anywhere outside the United States.

Although organizers claim they put strict protocols in place, Venezuela lost eight players to positive tests before the tournament's opening match against Brazil on Sunday and Bolivia lost three.

The inexperienced Venezuelans went down 3-0, with Marquinhos, Neymar and Gabriel Barbosa scoring for the host nation.

Brazil won this tournament two years ago, beating Argentina in the semi-final in a controversial match, and Messi said he was desperate to finally replicate his club success at international level.

"I think this is the time to strike a blow and the chance could come in this Copa America," said the Barcelona forward and six-time winner of the best player in the world award.

"My big dream is to win a title with the national team. I was very close on many occasions and unfortunately it didn't work out. I will keep going until I can't any more."

"I've been lucky enough to win everything at a club level and on an individual level and it would be beautiful to win with the national team as well."

Argentina Copa America squad

The Albiceleste manager Lionel Sebastián Scaloni named a strong 24-man squad which allows fans another chance to dream of a front three of Angel Di Maria, Lautero Martinez and Messi.

Goalkeepers: Franco Armani, Emiliano Martinez, Juan Musso and Agustin Marchesin

Defenders: Gonzalo Montiel, Nicolas Otamendi, German Pezzella, Nicolas Tagliafico, Lucas Martinez Quarta, Marcos Acuna, Lisandro Martinez, Nahuel Molina Lucero and Cristian Romero

Midfielders: Leandro Paredes, Giovani Lo Celso, Exequiel Palacios, Nicolas Gonzalez, Guido Rodriguez, Rodrigo De Paul, Alejandro Gomez, Angel Correa and Nicolas Dominguez

Forwards: Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez, Angel Di Maria, Joaquin Correa, Sergio Aguero and Julian Alvarez