Batista could omit Tevez from Copa squad

Batista could omit Tevez from Copa squad

Published May. 16, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez could miss the Copa America in July after Argentina coach Sergio Batista indicated he has other attacking options to play up front.

Tevez won the FA Cup for his English club on Saturday but seems to be out of favor with Batista.

''I know Carlos is a great player - he's played in two World Cups, he is experienced - but right now my No. 9 is Messi,'' Batista said at a news conference Monday. ''Messi is going to play in that position and I have Gonzalo Higuain to give me options.''

Batista said he would announce a provisional 30-man squad at the end of May before trimming it to 22 players on June 8.


It is rare for a national coach to choose more than two players in each position and Batista is widely known to be ambivalent about Tevez's talents.

The 27-year-old Tevez, who played in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, submitted and later withdrew a transfer request in a mixed season in England. He recently returned from injury to lift his club's first trophy in 35 years but is still expected to leave in the offseason.

Copa America host Argentina will play Albania on June 20 at River Plate's Monumental stadium in a final warm-up game for the July 1-24 tournament.

''Albania is No. 50 in the FIFA rankings, so they will be an ideal opponent for us,'' Batista said.

The Argentina coach is set to field Messi and the rest of his main lineup in that game. Fringe players will get their chance in earlier warm-up matches.