BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez has received his first call up to the national team in six months after being named in Argentina's 26-man preliminary squad for the Copa America, the South American championship.
Tevez was joined up front on Tuesday my Barcelona star Lionel Messi and will play in front of a defense anchored by 37-year-old Javier Zanetti of Inter Milan.
The squad will be reduced to 22 players by the time tournament host Argentina opens the event on July 1 against Bolivia. Argentina and Brazil are the favorites, and Argentina is looking to win its first major title since taking the same event in 1993.
Tevez has been excluded from the squad since he dropped out of a friendly match in November against Brazil at Qatar. The withdrawal seemed to anger new coach Sergio Batista, who had just taken over from Diego Maradona.
Batista acknowledged last week for the first time that he had personal issues with Tevez, who was the English Premier League's joint top-scorer.
Maradona roundly criticized Batista for the omission of Tevez who, despite his talent, has not teamed well with Messi on the national side.
Joining Tevez and Messi in the forwards are Sergio Aguero of Atletico Madrid, Gonzalo Higuain of Real Madrid, Ezequiel Lavezzi of Napoli and Diego Milito of Inter Milan.
Argentina begins training for the Copa America on June 8.
Goalkeepers: Juan Pablo Carrizo (River Plate), Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar) Mariano Andujar (Catania).
Defenders: Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan), Gabriel Milito (Barcelona), Nicolas Burdisso (Roma), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Ezquiel Garay (Real Madrid), Marcos Rojo (Spartak Moscow), Nicolas Pareja (Spartak Moscow), Luciano Monzon (Boca Juniors).
Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Ever Banega (Valencia), Fernando Gago (Real Madrid), Esteban Cambiasso (Inter Milan), Enzo Perez (Estudiantes, Argentina), Diego Valeri (Lanus, Argentina), Lucas Biglia (Anderlecht), Javier Pastore (Palermo), Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid).