Manchester City’s Alvarez named to Argentina’s Olympics team

Coach Javier Mascherano included four World Cup winners in the squad he announced Tuesday for Argentina‘s squad at the Olympics in Paris later this summer.

Manchester City striker Julián Álvarez and veteran Benfica defender Nicolás Otamendi were among those names. As expected, Lionel Messi was not, after the Inter Miami star said in June that playing at the Olympics would be “too much” in an already busy summer.

Messi, who has struggled with injuries this year, is now playing at the Copa América along with Álvarez and Otamendi, aiming to defend the continental title the team won in 2021. That victory served as a springboard for Argentina to lift the World Cup in 2022.

The 37-year-old superstar won the Olympic gold medal at Beijing in 2008.

Mascherano, who won the Olympic gold medal as a player in 2004 and ’08, will add goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli, Otamendi and Álvarez to his squad after Copa América is finished. Midfielder Claudio Echeverri, a recent signing for Manchester City from River Plate, will also join.

Argentina will play two friendlies in France before their Olympic tournament opener against Morocco on July 24. Argentina and Morocco are in Group B along with Iraq and Ukraine.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.