Argentina call up Paulo Dybala for Olympics against Juventus' wishes
Juventus midfielder Paulo Dybala was included on Tuesday in Argentina's preliminary list of players selected for the Olympics this August in Rio de Janeiro, despite insistence from the Serie A club that he cannot attend.
Dybala, 22, was one of biggest names left out of Gerardo Martino's final 23-man squad for the Copa America Centenario, despite leading Juve to a fifth straight Serie A title and second straight domestic double this season.
Argentina coach Gerardo Martino instead opted to include ex-Paris Saint-Germain and current Hebei China Fortune player Ezequiel Lavezzi, whose Copa America participation was put in doubt after he strained an adductor muscle during training on Tuesday.
The former Palermo forward has scored 23 goals over all competitions in his first season with the Bianconeri and appeared set for a summer call-up of some kind. Over the weekend, Dybala revealed he had been counting on a trip to the United States since Juve had no intention of making him available in Brazil.
Martino named 35 players for Rio on Tuesday. He must pare the list down to 18 by July 14. The Olympic tournament dates are Aug. 3-21.
However, with Lavezzi's Copa America participation now a doubt, Martino could opt to include Dybala in the team headed to the United States for the June tournament.
"I regret not having been called up for the Copa America because I already knew the club would not release me for Rio," Dybala told DirecTV on Thursday. "I wanted to be in the United States, but you have to respect the coach's decision."
Also included in the preliminary Olympics squad was the eldest son of Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone, Giovanni Simeone. The 20-year-old plays as a striker for Banfield on loan from River Plate and has been capped for the Albiceleste by their Under-20 team.