Paulo Dybala admits that Juventus barred him from playing in this year’s 2016 Rio Olympics. The Argentine striker was hoping for a call-up to the Argentina national team for next month’s Copa America Centenario but was shut down after manager Gerardo Martino left him out of the final 23-man squad for the competition.
The 22-year-old was an integral part of a Bianconeri side which completed the double in Italy, winning the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia. Dybala scored 23 goals in all competitions for Juventus and looked all but set to get a call-up, but Martino had other ideas.
Captain Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero lead the way for the Argentine strike force with new record-holder for most goals in a season in Serie A, Gonzalo Higuain, also getting the nod. Dybala was left out of the squad for Ezequiel Lavezzi, who currently plies his trade in China with Hebei China Fortune.
Dybala regrets not getting the call-up
The Argentine knew Juventus would not release him to play in the Olympics so he was disappointed in not getting the call-up. However, he does fully respect Martino’s decision when he said, “I wanted to be in the United States, however, you have to respect the coach’s decision.”
Dybala continued by saying that he knew it was going to be difficult getting a call-up due the “phenomena” of forwards they have.
The Argentine was eligible to play for Poland and Italy due to family heritage but chose to play for Argentina instead. He earned his first national team call-up last September, but he did not earn his first senior cap for Argentina until October 23, 2015, when he came on as a substitute for Carlos Tevez in a World Cup Qualifier against Paraguay.