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Page last updated at 22:31 GMT, Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Carlos Tevez left out of Argentina squad for 'attitude'

Carlos Tevez
Tevez, 27, last played for Argentina against Japan on 8 October last year

Argentina striker Carlos Tevez did not feature in Wednesday's 2-1 win over Portugal because of his "attitude".

Tevez had missed Argentina's match with Brazil on 17 November saying he had a muscle problem, but then played for Manchester City the following weekend.

"His absence is because of an attitude he had," said Argentine Football Association president Julio Grondona.

"He didn't come to play, and then did so for his club. The coaching staff didn't like that attitude."

Coach Sergio Batista named a front three of Ezequiel Lavezzi, Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria for the friendly in Geneva.

Real Madrid's Di Maria gave Argentina an early lead, before club team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo equalised.

But Messi's last-minute penalty, after Fabio Coentrao had fouled Juan Manuel Martinez, consigned the Portuguese to defeat.

The match against arch-rivals Brazil in Qatar, a 1-0 win to Argentina, had been Batista's first in charge since being confirmed in the job after three matches as caretaker boss.

When he named his squad on 25 January to face Portugal, he claimed he was resting several players, including Tevez, in order to look at other options.

The news came as a surprise at the time, given that Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain was out after having back surgery.

Inter Milan striker Diego Milito, who did make the squad, then pulled out earlier this week because of injury.

The off-field attitude of Tevez was also called into question when he handed in a transfer request, asking to leave Manchester City in December before withdrawing it eight days later after talks with the club.

Speaking to Radio Pop in Buenos Aires, Grondona stressed that Tevez's omission had nothing to do with him voicing his support for Diego Maradona when the legendary ex-Argentina player was not retained as coach by Grondona after last year's World Cup in South Africa.

Tevez has recently spoken about how he has to cope with feeling homesick, especially with his children living in Buenos Aires.

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see also
Tevez withdraws transfer request
20 Dec 10 |  Man City
Tevez hands in transfer request
12 Dec 10 |  Man City
Tevez ruled out for two matches
29 Oct 10 |  Man City
Tevez puts Argentina into controversial lead
27 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010

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