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Argentina squad for Copa America: Messi leads defending champion in provisional list, Dybala out

Lionel Messi will lead Argentina in the Copa America 2024 as the team announced its provisional squad for the tournament, ahead of their friendlies.

Argentina, which enters Copa America as the defending champion, will play Ecuador and Guatemala on June 9 and 14, respectively, in the run up of the tournament. The 29-member squad will eventually be trimmed to 26 after the games, with CONMEBOL, the organising body of the tournament, expanding the squad size from 23 to 26 this month.

In the last edition of the tournament, Messi won his first international trophy with the Albiceleste, beating arch-rival Brazil 1-0 in the final. The goalscorer in that game, Angel Di Maria, has also made the cut in the list despite being 36 now.

The squad features three league winners, Julian Alvarez, Lautaro Martinez and Exequiel Palacios, who won the top division in three different countries, England (Manchester City), Italy (Inter Milan) and Germany (Bayer Leverkusen), respectively.

Messi, who led Argentina to the FIFA World Cup in 2022, has struggled with a hamstring last month, had hinted that he would look to continue ‘delivering’ for his country at the continental tournament.

“As long as I feel good and I can continue to deliver, I’m going to (continue playing with Argentina). All I’m thinking about today is getting to the Copa América and being able to play in it,” he had said in the documentary ‘Champions, A Year Later’.

“Then time will tell whether I’ll be at the World Cup or not. I’m going to be at an age (39) that normally doesn’t allow me to play in the World Cup.”

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