Alvarez, Otamendi named in Argentina squad for Paris Olympics

Buenos Aires, July 3 (IANS) Manchester City striker Julian Alvarez and veteran Benfica defender Nicolas Otamendi are the two overage players named in Argentina's squad for the Paris Olympic Games.
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Alvarez, Otamendi named in Argentina squad for Paris Olympics

Buenos Aires, July 3 (IANS) Manchester City striker Julian Alvarez and veteran Benfica defender Nicolas Otamendi are the two overage players named in Argentina's squad for the Paris Olympic Games.

The 16-team Olympic football tournament is open to players under the age of 23, but each side can include three overage "wild cards" in their squad, reports Xinhua.

As expected, Lionel Messi is selected in the team as the Inter Miami star said in June that he is no longer at an age where he can play in every tournament.

Argentina coach Javier Mascherano also named Ajax goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli as wild cards on his 18-man list.

The under-23s include Botafogo attacking midfielder Thiago Almada, who was a member of Argentina's 2022 World Cup-winning squad, Atletico Madrid's Giuliano Simeone and Fiorentina striker Lucas Beltran.

The Albiceleste will begin their Olympic campaign against Morocco on July 24 before also meeting Iraq and Ukraine in the group stage.

Argentina squad:

Goalkeepers: Leandro Brey (Boca Juniors), Geronimo Rulli (Ajax).

Defenders: Marco Di Cesare (Racing Club), Julio Soler (Lanus), Joaquin Garcia (Velez Sarsfield), Gonzalo Lujan (San Lorenzo), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Bruno Amione (Santos Laguna).

Midfielders: Ezequiel Fernandez (Boca Juniors), Santiago Hezze (Olympiacos), Cristian Medina (Boca Juniors), Kevin Zenon (Boca Juniors).

Forwards: Giuliano Simeone (Atletico Madrid), Luciano Gondou (Argentinos Juniors), Thiago Almada (Botafogo de Brasil), Claudio Echeverri (River Plate), Julian Alvarez (Manchester City), Lucas Beltran (Fiorentina).