July 03, 2008

Argentina's Olympic squad will include Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano, much to the chagrin of their respective clubs, after coach Alfio Basile named a strong-looking Albiceleste squad that will take part in Beijing this August.

Another notable inclusion is Juan Roman Riquelme of Boca Juniors, who is the only "overage" player involved in the squad, which mainly comprises players younger than 23.

Argentina passed up the chance to include a further two overagers after the likes of Fabricio Coloccini were denied permission to head to China.

Argentina will meet Serbia and the Ivory Coast -- both of whom it faced at the 2006 World Cup -- as well as Australia in the group stage.

Oscar Ustari of Getafe is expected to be the first-choice goalkeeper, while Messi and Sergio Agüero are set to lead the forward line.


Goalkeepers: Oscar Ustari (Getafe), Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar)

Defenders: Pablo Zabaleta (Espanyol), Luciano Monzon (Boca Juniors), Ezequiel Garay (Real Madrid), Nicolas Burdisso (Inter Milan), Federico Fazio (Sevilla), Lautaro Acosta (Sevilla)

Midfielders: Fernando Gago (Real Madrid), Juan Roman Riquelme (Boca Juniors), Ever Banega (Valencia), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Jose Sosa (Bayern Munich)

Forwards: Diego Buonanotte (River Plate), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli), Angel Di Maria (Benfica).

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