Goalkeeper Juan Manuel Vivaldi will play his fourth Olympic hockey competition aged 41 next month, while there is no place for dragflick expert Gonzalo Peillat in Argentina men’s Tokyo squad.
Eight of Argentina‘s Olympic title-winning squad will return to defend gold next month after Los Leones’s 16-man squad was announced on Thursday.
Vivaldi’s first Games came at Athens 2004, while Argentina failed to make the Beijing Olympics. He was in goal as Argentina, who like Great Britain women were ranked seventh heading into the 2016 Games, won their first Olympic title in Rio. Ignacio Ortiz, Pedro Ibarra, Juan Martín López, Lucas Rossi, Matías Rey, Lucas Vila and Agustín Mazzilli have all retained their places from five years ago.
However, there is no place for Peillat, 28, after falling out with coaching management and has since stayed put in Germany with club side Mannheimer.
Ibarra, who will captain Argentina as he prepares for his third Olympic Games, said he was worried that Los Leones had played so little international hockey.
“If you do not compete, it is difficult to know why we are in these Olympic Games,” he said.
Mariano Ronconi, a former goalkeeper, will coach the team, having taken the helm last autumn from Germán Orozco, who was fired by Argentine Hockey.
Argentina men push back against Spain in their opening Pool clash, before matches against Japan, Australia, India and New Zealand.
Next week Argentina travel to Valencia to play matches against Spain and Germany.
Argentina men’s squad
Juan Manuel Vivaldi, Lucas Vila, Leandro Tolini, Nahuel Salis, Lucas Rossi, Matías Rey, Ignacio Ortiz, Agustín Mazzilli, Lucas Martinez, Juan Martín Lopez, Nicolás Keenan, Pedro Ibarra, Diego Paz, Thomas Habif, Maico Casella, Agustín Bugallo
Nicolás Cicileo (Olympic Reserve, Player), Santiago Tarazona (Olympic Reserve, Player), Emiliano Bosso (Olympic Reserve, GK). Lucas Toscani (Reserve). Federico Monja (Reserve)