Buenos Aires: Striker Hernan Barcos of Brazilian side Palmeiras was a surprise inclusion in the Argentina squad that coach Alejandro Sabella named on Thursday for next month's World Cup qualifiers.

Argentina host Paraguay in Cordoba on Sept. 7 and travel to Lima to play Peru four days later.

The 28-year-old Barcos has made his name outside his home country, especially with Ecuador's LDU Quito whose fans nicknamed him 'El Pirata' in a nod to his pirate-like looks with a goatee and straggly hair.

"I would give my life for the national team," Barcos was quoted by local media as saying.

"One always wants to play but to be called up is huge since I'll be sharing the dressing room with great players. It's so fortunate to train with them and learn from them," he said.

Sabella also recalled Inter Milan striker Rodrigo Palacio, a member of Argentina’s 2006 World Cup squad, in an attacking department that includes Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain.

Sergio Aguero was also picked, despite the Manchester City striker serving a one-match suspension that will rule him out of the Paraguay game, and also recovering from a knee injury he suffered in the English Premier League last weekend.

Former captain Javier Mascherano is also suspended for one match after accumulating two bookings.

Argentina are third in the South American group with 10 points from five matches, two points behind leaders Chile with a game in hand. Paraguay and Peru are in the bottom two places.


Sergio Romero (Sampdoria), Mariano Andujar (Catania)

Defenders: Hugo Campagnaro, Federico Fernandez (both Napoli), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Ezequiel Garay (Benfica), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle United), Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisbon)

Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Fernando Gago (Valencia), Jose Sosa (Metalist Kharkiv), Pablo Guinazu (Internacional), Enzo Perez (Benfica), Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid)

Forwards: Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris St Germain), Hernan Barcos (Palmeiras), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid)


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