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Tevez returns to Argentina squad

Juventus striker Carlos Tevez has been handed his first Argentina call-up for three years after being selected in the squad for their forthcoming friendlies.

The former Manchester City forward has been in the international wilderness since 2011, when he made an appearance in the Copa America quarter-final defeat to Uruguay.

However, Gerardo Martino, who took over as head coach of the Albiceleste following their World Cup final defeat this summer, stated earlier this month that “the doors were open” to Tevez to return to the squad should he prove his worth at club level.

And the former Barcelona boss has finally rewarded the 30-year-old striker with a return to the squad to face Portugal and Croatia, after his eight goals in 10 games for Juventus in 2014-15.

Captain Lionel Messi is also included in what is otherwise a largely-expected squad, along with Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, Manchester United star Angel Di Maria and Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano.

Willy Caballero is handed a place despite his lack of game time for City this season, while Tottenham’s Erik Lamela is included to cap a fine few days following his outstanding rabona goal in the Europa League.

He is joined by club team-mate Federico Fazio, while there is further Premier League repsrensentation in the shape of Manchester City defensive duo Pablo Zabaleta and Martin Demichelis, Manchester United’s Marcos Rojo and Federico Fernandez of Swansea City.

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria), Willy Caballero (Manchester City), Nahuel Guzman (Tigres)

Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Valencia), Martin Demichelis (Manchester City), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Federico Fazio (Tottenham), Federico Fernandez (Swansea), Ezequiel Garay (Zenit), Facundo Roncaglia (Genoa), Cristian Ansaldi (Atletico Madrid)

Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Robert Pareyra (Juventus), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Angel Di Maria (Manchester United), Erik Lamela (Tottenham), Javier Pastore (Paris Saint-Germain), Enzo Perez (Benfica), Nicolas Gaitan (Benfica)

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Carlos Tevez (Juventus), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)