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Audit: $128m embezzled from CONMEBOL

CONMEBOL
Read
ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

No one in the national team has a problem with Icardi - Edgardo Bauza

Mauro Icardi
A star at Inter Milan, Mauro Icardi has made just one appearance for Argentina.

Edgardo Bauza has cited Mauro Icardi's limited ability to hold the ball up as reason the Inter Milan captain has yet again been left off the Argentina squad, but cautioned the prolific forward to remain calm.

Icardi, 24, has been a star since joining Inter from Sampdoria in 2013, scoring 74 goals and providing a further 24 assists in 138 appearances for the San Siro club.

However the Inter captain has made just one international appearance for his country -- against Uruguay back in 2013 -- and was left off Bauza's squad list ahead of upcoming qualifiers against Chile and Bolivia, with Sao Paulo's Lucas Pratto preferred instead by the ex-San Lorenzo coach.

"I've told him: 'Be calm, if something happens to [Gonzalo] Higuain or [Lucas] Pratto, I'll call you,'" Bauza said on Friday.

"He's happy, calm, no problems. He said to me: 'I'm calm.' And I repeated that he could be called up at any time, and that no one in the national team has a problem with him.

"In my opinion he's a good finisher, [but] not a player who you can involve in the collective play of the team.

"Of the three, Pratto is the best in this aspect, it's just he doesn't score like Higuain. Icardi is very dangerous in the final third, he has a lot of confidence right now.

Edgardo Bauza
Edgardo Bauza is not pleased with the prospect of playing Brazil in a friendly this summer.

"He's not a player who helps a lot in holding the ball.

"Will I call him for the Brazil game on June 9? Maybe, but I don't know."

Argentina will play arch-rival Brazil, who beat his Albiceleste 3-0 in a World Cup qualifier last year, in a summer friendly shortly after Europe's top domestic leagues end.

And Bauza is not pleased with the Argentine Football Federation's decision to schedule the game.

"I told the [Argentine Football] Federation that I wanted to go to Brazil for eight or nine days to work with the players, but even though it's a FIFA date the European clubs won't give me their players," he said.

"Also, given it's just after the end of the season the players want to go on holiday, they plan on going to the beach with their wives.

"We're playing Brazil, we can't change too much... if we get beaten 4-0 we'll get slaughtered.

"I saw [Brazil coach] Tite in Europe and I said: 'Do you want to play this match?'

"He said no, so I told him: 'good, let's just play a 0-0!'. He killed himself laughing."

Argentina currently sit fifth in CONMEBOL qualifying with 19 points from 12 matches thus far.

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