Diego Maradona has urged Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza to hand Carlos Tevez an international recall in an effort to kickstart the team’s ailing World Cup qualifying campaign.
Tevez has not represented the Albiceleste since their World Cup qualifier against Paraguay in Asuncion 13 months ago, which ended in a 0-0 draw.
“I ask people not to give him a hard time, that they should just let him play,” Maradona told the Clarin newspaper. “He has what it takes to do well for Boca [Juniors], the national team and whichever other side he plays for.”
Tevez has struggled for form in recent weeks, scoring just once in five appearances for Boca Juniors in the current Primera Division season.
But 1986 World Cup winner Diego Maradona said the 32-year-old still has plenty to offer the national team after spells with Corinthians, West Ham United, Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus.
“I can only say that I love Carlitos and I’m grateful for the fact that he decided to return [to play in Argentina] when he could have played in 10 other countries,” Diego Maradona said.
Argentina are currently fifth in the South American zone qualifying standings for the 2018 World Cup with 16 points from 10 matches.
The top four teams at the end of the two-year qualifying campaign will earn an automatic berth at football’s showpiece tournament in Russia. The fifth-ranked side will meet the Oceania champions in an inter-continental playoff.