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August 28, 2014

National Team

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Demichelis included in first team

Defender Martín Demichelis (l) struggles for the ball with Lionel Messi during training.

Takes injured Garay’s place in practice session

Alejandro Sabella will take to announce the official 23-men list tomorrow and, apparently, Martín Demichelis will be part of it as the defender was the coach’s first choice to replace injured Ezequiel Garay in the first team.

Defender Martín Demichelis seems to have a foot in the 23-men list to travel to the World Cup as he took Ezequiel Garay’s place in the first team in yesterday’s training session at the Ezeiza facilities.

Although the Benfica central defender did not participate in the practice as he did not recover from a knock that he had suffered on Friday, it is important to point out that coach Alejandro Sabella chose Demichelis instead of Hugo Campagnaro, José Basanta or Nicolás Otamendi.

Tomorrow, the trainer will have to decide which three players will be excluded from the official list of players who will compete in Brazil.

Demichelis, who was the big surprise when Sabella announced the provisional 30-men list, seemed to have an advantage over Otamendi and Campagnaro. Apparently, one of them will not be included in the list.

However, Otamendi replaced Demichelis in the second half and played in defence with Federico Fernández. Campagnaro was called many times by Sabella during the South American qualifiers, but he did not play much.

“I’m older and have more experience, and I’m not afraid of missing the World Cup. It happened to me in 2006 (Germany), then I played the 2010 championship (South Africa), which is the best thing that can happen to a player. And that was important because I can enjoy every practice with the national team,” said Demichelis.

Yesterday’s first team was: Sergio Romero; Pablo Zabaleta, Federico Fernández, Demichelis, Marcos Rojo; Fernando Gago, Javier Mascherano, Ángel Di María; Lionel Messi, Rodrigo Palacio and Gonzalo Higuaín.

Palacio took Sergio Agüero’s place as the Manchester City striker has fever.

Also, Augusto Fernández, one of the players who fights for a place on the list, trained with the rest of his teammates for the first time since recovering from his injury.

The former River Plate right midfielder was part of the reserve team: Mariano Andújar (then replaced by Agustín Orión); Campagnaro, Otamendi (then replaced by Demichelis), Lucas Biglia, José Basanta; Augusto Fernández, Enzo Pérez, Ever Banega, José Sosa (then replaced by Ricardo Álvarez); Maximiliano Rodríguez and Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Argentina will debut in the World Cup on June 15 against Bosnia. Sabella’s team also shares Group F with Iran and Nigeria.

Herald with agencies

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