Saturday, June 23, 2018

Promising striker Lautaro Martinez given chance for Argentina debut

  • >> Reuters
    Published: 2018-03-13 21:23:59 BdST

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Lautaro Martinez of Argentina's Racing celebrates after he scores a goal against Brazil's Cruzeiro. Copa Libertadores - Presidente Peron stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina - February 27, 2018. Reuters

Uncapped Racing Club striker Lautaro Martinez has been named in Argentina's squad for friendlies against Italy and Spain later this month, coach Jorge Sampaoli said on Monday.

Martinez, 20, has scored 12 goals in 14 appearances for Racing this year and was added to the squad as one of five home-based players.

Boca Juniors winger Cristian Pavon was also included, as was his 32-year old team mate, uncapped midfielder Pablo Perez as Sampaoli prepares to decide who he will pick for this year's World Cup in Russia.

Two other uncapped players, 21-year old right back Fabricio Bustos and midfielder Maximiliano Meza, both of Independiente, were also named in the squad to play Italy at the Etihad stadium in Manchester on March 23 and then face Spain in Madrid four days later.

Sampaoli had previously announced 22 overseas-based players, although Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero pulled out on Sunday due to a knee injury.

Beaten finalists in Brazil four years ago, Argentina kick off their World Cup campaign against Iceland on June 16 and then face Croatia and Nigeria