BUENOS AIRES - Carlos Tevez will
line up alongside Lionel Messi in Argentina's attack when
the hosts open the Copa America against Bolivia in La Plata on
Friday, coach Sergio Batista said.
He said the decision was part of the tactics he had devised
for Messi to have a brilliant tournament and inspire Argentina
to clinch the South American title they last won in 1993.
Less than a month ago, Tevez appeared out of the running for
a place in Argentina's squad but he and Batista cleared the air
over issues that had kept the striker out of the reckoning and
he has impressed the coach in training.
"Carlos will play because he can link much more with Lionel
and the idea is not to have players of such speed as we would
have if [Angel] Di Maria and [Ezequiel] Lavezzi played [either
side of Messi]... with Carlos we have more play," he told
reporters on Thursday.
Batista, who has dropped Di Maria to the bench to make way
for Tevez, denied he had bowed to popular demand and media
pressure to include the Manchester City captain.
"I don't go by popular clamour. If I say Tevez must play
it's because that's best for the national team. He has earned
his place on his own," Batista said.
Batista said he had alternative tactics if Messi were
suffocated by Bolivian marking.
"We discussed Messi getting man-to-man marking and we have a
plan B, someone [else] who will take control of the team and the
ball," he said.
"Lionel must enjoy what he's doing, he's a great player, the
world's best, and we'll take maximum advantage of that. We built
a team for him and let's hope it's his Copa America."
Argentina team (4-3-3):
Sergio Romero; Javier Zanetti, Nicolas Burdisso, Gabriel
Milito, Marcos Rojo; Ever Banega, Javier Mascherano, Esteban
Cambiasso; Ezequiel Lavezzi, Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez.
Champions want to roll on
Centre-back "fit enough" if not 100%
Former Chelsea and Liverpool boss poised to join Napoli, says Serie A club's president
Legend tips underdog
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010