Perez replaces Lanzini in Argentina World Cup squad

FILE PHOTO - Football Soccer - Argentina's national soccer team training - World Cup 2018 - Buenos Aires, Argentina - May 21, 2018 - Argentina's Manuel Lanzini attends a training session. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina have called up River Plate midfielder Enzo Perez as a last-minute replacement for the injured Manuel Lanzini, the Argentine Football Association said on Saturday.

The 32-year-old, a former Valencia and Benfica player, made three appearances in the World Cup in Brazil four years ago and has 23 caps, the last of which he won last year.

“I just found out that I am going to travel and it’s a dream come true,” Perez, who was on holiday in Argentina, told the TyC Sports channel. “Unfortunately I am called in because of a team mate’s injury but I am going to make every effort to ensure things turn out right.”

Lanzini dropped out Argentina’s World Cup squad on Friday after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Twice world champions and beaten finalists in Brazil four years ago, Argentina face Iceland, Nigeria and Croatia in the group stage in Russia this year.

Writing by Andrew Downie, reporting by Ramiro Scandolo, editing by Nick Mulvenney and Christian Radnedge