Tevez says public is to thank for Argentina berth

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


”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.