KOLKATA - Carlos Tevez's lack of fitness
cost him a place in the Argentina squad for the friendlies in
Asia but the national team's door is very much open for the
Manchester City striker, coach Alejandro Sabella said on
Addressing the media ahead of Friday's friendly against
Venezuela in Kolkata, his first match since taking charge last
month, Sabella said he was ready to consider a fitter Tevez.
"All quality players are welcome in the team. When I picked
the squad, Tevez was not playing for Manchester City and gained
weight," Sabella said.
"Good players like him are always in my plans."
Tevez, who has made no secret of his desire to leave City,
has fallen down the pecking order at the club with the arrival
of compatriot Sergio Aguero and has yet to start a game this
Sabella, who took charge after predecessor Sergio Batista
failed to guide Argentina beyond the quarter-finals of the Copa
America, is aware of how important it will be for him to get off
to a winning start as coach.
"Football in Argentina is a passion and I know there is a
lot of expectation. It's my first game in command of the team,"
said Sabella, whose side play Nigeria in a friendly on Sept. 6
"It's very important to make a good beginning. Winning will
give us confidence."
He said he was looking forward to building a great
understanding with captain Lionel Messi, who will lead the side
in the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup finals.
Nearly 2000 delirious fans had gathered outside the airport
in the early hours of Wednesday just to see World Player of the
Year Messi and other players being whisked away to a Kolkata
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