Spaniard Maffeo named in Argentina squad for World Cup qualifiers
Source: Reuters

Soccer Football - LaLiga - RCD Mallorca v FC Barcelona - Son Moix, Palma, Mallorca, Spain - September 26, 2023 RCD Mallorca's Pablo Maffeo walks after being substituted REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

Nov 10 (Reuters) - Argentina have called up Mallorca's Spanish defender Pablo Maffeo for the first time ahead of this month's World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Brazil in the squad announced by its FA on Friday.

The 26-year-old Maffeo, born to an Argentine mother, is joined by Olympiakos left-back Francisco Ortega as newcomers for the World Cup champions' home game against Uruguay on Thursday and their trip to Brazil five days later.

The team led by captain and eight-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi includes Benfica forward Angel Di Maria after missing last month's qualifiers due to injury.

Argentina are leaders in the South American qualifiers with 12 points after a perfect run in four matches. Uruguay are second with seven points, level with third-placed Brazil and fourth-placed Venezuela.

Goalkeepers: Juan Musso (Atalanta), Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Walter Benitez (PSV Eindhoven) and Franco Armani (River Plate).

Defenders: Gonzalo Montiel (Nottingham Forest), Pablo Maffeo (Mallorca), Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur), Lucas Martinez Quarta (Fiorentina), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Marcos Acuna (Sevilla), Francisco Ortega (Olympiakos), Nicolas Tagliafico (Olympique Lyon).

Midfielders: Leandro Paredes (AS Roma), Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis), Enzo Fernandez (Chelsea), Exequiel Palacios (Bayern Leverkusen), Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham Hotspur), Alexis Mac Allister (Liverpool).

Forwards: Paulo Dybala (AS Roma), Angel Di Maria (Benfica), Lionel Messi (Inter Miami), Julian Alvarez (Manchester City), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Lucas Ocampos (Sevilla).

Reporting by Janina Nuno Rios in Mexico City; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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