messi copa america
The future of football in Argentina is in serious doubts. Pictured: Argentina midfielder Lionel Messi (10) reacts during a shoot out against Chile in the championship match of the 2016 Copa America Centenario soccer tournament at MetLife Stadium.Reuters

The bitter thrashing at the hands of Chile in the Copa America Centenario final left Argentina aghast. Star player Lionel Messi announced his retirement and it was reported that the likes of Javier Mascherano, Angel di Maria and Sergio Aguero also announced their international retirement.

Argentina coach Tata Martino also resigned soon after and the already-disarrayed Argentine Football Association (AFA) went into further turmoil. 

It was announced that Julio Olarticoechea, who was one of the defenders in the Argentina squad that won the 1986 World Cup, would be appointed as the coach of the national team ahead of the Rio Olympics 2016.

There is no big name in the 18-member squad announced by the AFA for the Olympics. However, several youngsters including highly-rated Atletico Madrid duo, Angel Correa and Luciano Vietto, River Plate youngster Giovanni Simeone and West Ham's Manuel Lanzini are a part of the squad.

Defender Victor Cuesta and goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli are the only over-age players selected by Argentina, to be coached by Olarticoechea. The likes of 22-year-old Juventus star forward Paulo Dybala, Mauro Icardi, 23, or even Gonzalo Higuain haven't made it to the list. It remains to be seen now whether the relatively young guns can brush off the challenge from a Neymar-led Brazil in Olympics 2016.

A total of 16 teams, which includes defending FIFA World Cup champions Germany, hosts Brazil and Asian sides South Korea and Japan will be participating in Rio 2016. Argentina are grouped alongside Euro 2016 finalists Portugal, Honduras and Algeria in pool D.

Rio Olympics: Argentina football squad

Goalkeepers: Geronimo Rulli (Real Sociedad), Axel Werner (Atletico Rafaela).

Defenders: Jose Luis Gomez (Lanus), Lisandro Magallan (Boca Juniors), Lautaro Gianetti (Velez Sarsfield), Victor Cuesta (Independiente), Leandro Vega (River Plate) Alexis Soto (Banfield).

Midfielders: Santiago Ascacibar (Estudiantes), Mauricio Martínez (Union), Lucas Romero (Cruzeiro), Giovani Lo Celso (Rosario Central).

Forwards: Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid), Joaquin Correa (Sampdoria), Critian Espinoza (Huracan), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham), Luciano Vietto (Atletico Madrid), Giovanni Simeone (River Plate).

Also read