Tevez finally back in Argentina set-up after three-year exile
Former Premier League Golden Boot winner in 2010/11 Carlos Tevez, 30, has finally been given a recall for his nation, Argentina, after over three years out in the wilderness.
Ex-Barcelona boss and new La Albiceleste manager Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino is the man who has given the troubled star a way back into the international set-up. Tevez’s nation face Croatia at Upton Park on November 12th, and then Portugal at Old Trafford six days later, at his old clubs West Ham United and Manchester Utd respectively.
The last time Tevez did feature for Argentina was in the quarter-finals of the Copa America against Uruguay in 2011 under Sergio Batista, who was assistant to Diego Maradona at the 2010 World Cup finals. They lost on penalties 6-5, with Tevez, who came on as a substitute, missing the only spot-kick.
Batista’s successor, 2014 FIFA Coach of the Year nominee Alejandro Sabella who was recently linked with a move to his former club as a player Leeds United, decided against calling up Tevez during his tenure.
It has been widely claimed that the current Juventus forward had been a disruptive influence when previously called up for Argentina. However, with the likes of Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Ezequiel Lavezzi, Tevez’s presence was not really missed.
But his recent form for Turin giants Juve could not be ignored, having scored an impressive 21 times last season in all competitions to help guide the club to another Serie A title. He has started the current campaign brightly too, with eight goals in ten league and Champions League matches.
Tevez, who was handed his first of 64 caps (netting 13) by now Marseille boss Marcelo Bielsa in 2004, has made the most recent 24-man Argentina squad, at the expense of the likes of Lavezzi and Rodrigo Palacio.
Martino, meanwhile, has also given Manchester City keeper Willy Caballero a recall to the squad, along with Spurs centre back Federico Fazio, who were unfavoured by Sabella in particular.
The 33-year-old goalie has yet to earn a senior cap, despite a dearth in Argentine stoppers over the years, but was a part of the Gold Medal-winning side at the 2004 Olympics, also under Bielsa. Fazio, 27, will get the chance to add to his two international appearances.
All three players will be vying for places for their upcoming friendlies in England, with the match against Portugal much-hyped in particular, as Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo could face off at the latter’s former home.
World Cup runners-up Argentina have been given odds of 8/1 with Coral (fourth-favourites) to win the next edition in Russia 2018. Tevez would be 34 at the time, though.