Copa América: Lionel Messi, Di María headline Argentina squad

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni announced the 26-player squad for the 2024 Copa América on Saturday, with Lionel Messi and Ángel Di María headlining the team.

29 players were called up for the pre-tournament friendlies against Guatemala and Ecuador as Scaloni looked to introduce younger options, but Valentín Barco, Ángel Correa and Leo Balerdi were dropped from the final list.

“I have decided which players will be left out, but first I am going to inform them. The decision always involves looking for the best for the team. This is the most difficult list of all because we have had complications,” Scaloni said after their 4-1 victory over Guatemala.

Monza player Valentin Carboni stands as the new addition to the team after a solid performance against Guatemala.

“It seems to me that Carboni has a great present and future. We have to take advantage of it, like many other guys who are arriving,” Messi said of Carboni after the Guatemala win.

The team is similar to the one that won 2022 World Cup, with 21 of the 26 players featuring in Qatar.

La Albiceleste will kick off the tournament on June 20 when they face Canada in the opening Copa América match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

Scaloni’s side then face Chile and Peru in Group A.

Argentina enter the tournament as reigning champions, after beating Brazil 1-0 in the 2021 final.