Copa America 2016: Argentina Key Players

Here are the key players of Argentina National Football Team.

Afa_logo_jerseysEzequiel Lavezzi

FBL-EUR-C1-VALENCIA-PSG
PSG’s Argentinian forward Ezequiel Lavezzi reacts during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg football match Valencia CF vs Paris Saint Germain at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on February 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ JOSE JORDAN (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Lavezzi was chosen by new manager Alejandro Sabella for Argentina’s 23-man 2014 FIFA World Cup squad. He made six appearances throughout the tournament,setting up Messi’s match-winning goal against Iran after coming off the bench, as well as Rojo’s goal against Nigeria.In the final against Germany he set up a goal for Higuaín, but it was correctly ruled off-side; Lavezzi was replaced by Sergio Agüero at half-time, and Argentina were defeated 1–0 in extra time.

Lavezzi was a member of the Argentina squad that reached the final of the 2015 Copa América, only to be defeated by hosts Chile on penalties.

In May 2016, Lavezzi was included in Gerardo Martino’s final 23-man Argentina squad for the Copa América Centenario.

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Lionel Messi

46843237.cachedMessi’s place in Argentina’s Copa América Centenario squad was initially put in jeopardy when he sustained a back injury in a 1–0 friendly win over Honduras in a pre-Copa América warm-up match on 27 May 2016.It was later reported that he had suffered a deep bruise in his lumbar region, but that he would remain in Martino’s squad for the tournament, although he was later left on the bench in Argentina’s 2–1 opening win over defending champions Chile on 6 June due to concerns regarding his fitness.Although Messi was declared match-fit for his nation’s second group match against Panama on 10 June, Martino left him on the bench once again; he replaced Augusto Fernández in the 61st minute and subsequently scored a hat-trick in 19-minutes, also starting the play which led to Agüero’s goal, as the match ended in a 5–0 victory, sealing Argentina’s place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

On 18 June 2016, in the quarter-final of the Copa América against Venezuela, Messi equalled Gabriel Batistuta’s national record of 54 goals.

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Gonzalo Higuaín

gonzalo-higuain-Fifa-world-cup-2014With Sergio Agüero preferred as the lone centre-forward in a three-man Argentine attack, Higuaín made his first start of the 2015 Copa América in the final group match, against Jamaica in Viña del Mar. Winning his fiftieth cap, he scored the only goal of the game in the 11th minute when set up by Ángel Di María, sending Argentina through as group winners.On 30 June, he scored the final goal of Argentina’s 6–1 win over Paraguay in the semi-finals, two minutes after coming on in place of Agüero.On 4 July, Higuaín was one of two Argentina players to fail to convert their kicks in a penalty shootout loss to Chile in the 2015 Copa América Final, blasting his attempt over the crossbar.

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