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Page last updated at 10:33 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 11:33 UK

Mascherano gets Olympics call-up

Javier Mascherano
Mascherano is a vital member of Liverpool's side

Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano has been named in Argentina's squad for the Olympic Games in August.

The 24-year-old is one of the three overage players allowed in the Under-23 squad for the Games in Beijing.

Mascherano will now miss the start of the Reds' season, including both legs of their Champions League third-round qualifier on 12 and 27 August.

He is joined in the 18-man squad by Barcelona star Lionel Messi and Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero.

Mascherano's absence will be a blow for Reds boss Rafael Benitez as the Argentine has developed into a crucial member of his side in the holding midfield role.

606: DEBATE
Benitez is also set to have problems replacing Mascherano as fellow midfielder Lucas Leiva is expected to play for Brazil at the Games.

Liverpool's young left-back Emiliano Insua is on Argentina's standby list and could also be called up.

Argentina, who also have Juan Roman Riquelme in their squad, will travel to Tokyo to play a friendly against Japan on 29 July before going on to Beijing.




see also
Rovers clear Nelsen for Olympics
02 Jul 08 |  Football
Man Utd's Park to miss Olympics
17 Jun 08 |  Football
Footballers targeted for Olympics
04 Jun 08 |  London 2012


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