BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – Carlos Tevez says he would have been left out of the Argentina squad for the Copa America by coach Sergio Batista and was only included because of pressure from the public.
Known as the ''people's player,'' Tevez was a surprise addition to the 26-man squad announced last week. Batista had been upset with him for declining to play in a November friendly against Brazil in Doha, Qatar.
The squad will be cut of 22 before Argentina opens the Copa America - the South American championship - with a match against Bolivia on July 1. Tevez is widely expected to make the final 22.
''I know that I'm there because of the people,'' Tevez said. ''I saw myself being left out.''
Tevez played in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and is likely to be used in the Copa America as a substitute.
Batista acknowledged several weeks ago that he had left Tevez out of recent national team selections because he was upset over comments the player had made to several of Batista's assistant coaches. Batista did not elaborate.