With the way he has played this season, it would have been easy to think that Juventus striker Paulo Dybala was in position to get a spot on Argentina's roster for this summer's Copa America. He was one of the biggest reasons why Juventus were able to win a fifth straight title and end the season — again — by celebrating a domestic double.
But just because what we think seems simple doesn't always end up that way.
Dybala wasn't called up by Argentina manager Gerardo Martino when rosters for this summer's Copa America were announced earlier this week. Instead, one of the country's brightest young talents will watch his countrymen take on the likes of Chile, Brazil and others from either a sandy beach somewhere or from the comfort of his home in Italy. Either way, Dybala isn't going to be making his way to the United States this summer to be playing for his country. And on top of that, as he has told us, he won't be part of the Argentinian contingent at the Summer Olympics, either.
"I did expect to be called up, because Juventus had already told me I couldn't take part in the Olympics and so I hoped for the Copa America. I have to respect the decisions of the Coach, as it is not easy to put together a squad with so many phenomenal strikers. It's disappointing, but Juventus won't give me permission to go to Rio."
(Source: Football Italia)
For one, Dybala isn't the only one who expected him to be called up. There's always going to be a massive amount of competitiveness for spots on the Argentina roster when it comes to attackers. Leo Messi's gonna be there. Gonzalo Higuain is going to be there after the insane season he just had with Napoli. And Sergio Aguero will be there. Those are three of the best in the business. And, because Martino chose to go with Nicolás Gaitán and Ezequiel Lavezzi, Dybala is going to be watching from somewhere other than the Argentina bench.
The interesting part of his quote above is the fact that he's stated that Juve aren't allowing him to go to the olympics. Obviously it's doubling up on disappointment when it comes to chances to represent his country this summer at one competition or the other. I am sure Juve have their reasons for not letting him go to Rio this summer, just as Dybala has his reasons why he wants to go. Will we get Juve's side of it? Who knows, but I wouldn't mind hearing it sooner or later.
I guess the main thing is now that Dybala gets to enjoy a full summer off. If he continues to play at this level — and probably get even better than he already is — there will be other tournaments to play in with Argentina. But, for now, a summer of rest is what Dybala will get, and it's probably going to end up being the best thing for him. Well earned, I'd say.