Messi to lead Argentina's Copa America squad, Icardi misses out

Barcelona stalwart Lionel Messi has been named in Argentina's 23-man squad list for the 2019 Copa America. The 31-year-old forward looks set to lead the team at this summer's tournament in Brazil after returning to the Albiceleste for international duties in March.

The five-time Ballon d'Or featured in a friendly encounter with Venezuela after he took a nine-month break following his side's underwhelming campaign at Russia 2018. He is now poised to leave a mark at his national team as an impressive season with Barcelona has seen the striker secure the Pichichi in La Liga with 36 goals in 34 matches.

To help achieve the objective of winning his first international trophy, the Rosario-born forward will be surrounded by the likes of Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and Paulo Dybala who made the cut in the 23-man squad list released on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, there was no place for Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi. Despite being the Nerrazurri's top scorer this season with 17 goals in all competitions this season, the 26-year-old forward was overlooked. However, his teammate Lautaro Martinez who is eight goals off his tally made the cut.

Argentina will begin training on May 27 and will warm up for the tournament with a friendly against Nicaragua. It will begin its Copa America campaign against Colombia, before taking on Paraguay and Qatar in the group stage matches.

Argentina full squad:

Goalkeepers: Franco Armani (River Plate), Agustin Marchesin (Club America), Esteban Andrada (Boca Juniors).

Defenders: Juan Foyth (Tottenham), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), German Pezzella (Fiorentina), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), Ramiro Funes Mori (Villarreal), Renzo Saravia (Racing Club), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon), Milton Casco (River Plate).

Midfielders: Leandro Paredes (PSG), Guido Rodriguez (Club America), Giovani Lo Celso (Betis), Exequiel Palacios (River Plate), Roberto Pereyra (Watford), Rodrigo De Paul (Udinese), Angel Di Maria (PSG).

Forward: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan) Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Matias Suarez (River).

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