Martino gives preliminary squad for Copa América
Goalkeepers: Justo Villar (Valladolid, España), Diego Barreto (Cerro Porteño), Joel Silva (Guaraní) y Roberto Fernández (Racing, Argentina).
Defenders: Paulo Da Silva (Zaragoza, Spain), Marcos Cáceres (Racing, Argentina), Antolín Alcaraz (Wigan, England), Darío Verón (Pumas, Mexico), Aureliano Torres (San Lorenzo, Argentina), Miguel Samudio (Libertad), Iván Piris (Cerro Porteño), Elvis Marecos (Guaraní), Luis Cardozo (Cerro Porteño) and Ismael Benegas (Rubio Ñú).
Midfielders: Víctor Cáceres (Libertad), Cristian Riveros (Sunderland, England), Néstor Ortigoza (San Lorenzo, Argentina), Jonathan Santana (Kayserispor, Turquía), Enrique Vera (Liga de Quito, Ecuador), Osmar Molinas (Olimpia), Edgar Barreto (Atalanta, Italy) y Hernán Pérez (Villarreal, Spain).
Strikers: Roque Santacruz (Blackburn, England), Osvaldo Martínez (Monterrey, México), Orlando Gaona Lugo (Boca Juniors, Argentina), Nelson Haedo Valdez (Hércules, Spain), Marcelo Estigarribia (Newell’s Old Boys, Argentina), Lucas Barrios (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Federico Santander (Toulouse FC, France), Pablo Zeballos (Olimpia) y Julián Benítez (Guaraní).
There are 31 players here. Only 22 will be left on June 23 when the final list has to be given. There are several players here that will predictably be dropped: Robert Fernandez, Elvis Mareco, Luis Cardozo, Osmar Molinas, Federico Santander, Pablo Zeballos, and Julian Benitez. Hopefully, Osvaldo Martinez won’t be dropped in the last minute this time.
Who is missing from this list?
Edgar Benitez used to be a favorite of Martino. The other surprising and controversial omission is that of Oscar “Tacuara” Cardozo. I cannot believe this and it is truly painful that he is out. Cardozo is arguably the most successful Paraguayan player in the world right know. He is a star at Benfica, always plays, and the top-scorer of their club. Martino has attributed his omission to poor form, but this is ridiculous. There are already rumors of personal problems between the two, this situation is hard to believe.
Other players that could have been called are Jose Ortigoza (Cruzerio) and Adalberto Roman (River Plate).
Cardozo’s omission is a sour note to begin the Copa America on.
Still, Fuerza Albirroja!!!
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