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World Cup 2010 Focus: Argentina

Posted by Walker Friday, May 28, 2021

Despite being one of the world’s most glorious football nations, Argentina certainly didn’t qualify for this World Cup the easy way. Diego Maradona may be the best footballer ever, but his management of Argentina is still to be judged.

A 6-1 loss to Bolivia was the lowest points in Maradona’s short career as manager so far. But, he got Argentina to stumble over the line and take their place in South Africa, although the controversy wasn’t to end there.

Maradona’s bizarre team selections and tactics have been widely criticised, and it is impossible to second-guess how Argentina will line-up at the World Cup. He has astonishingly left out Inter duo Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso from his 30-man provisional squad despite their impressive club form this season. Fernando Gago of Real Madrid and Gabriel Milito of Barcelona have also missed out, as Maradona has kept faith with the Argentinean-based players that drew criticism throughout the qualifiers.

Players such as Juan Manuel Insaurralde, Clemente Rodriguez, and Juan Mercier are not household names, but have been entrusted by Maradona to win the World Cup for Argentina for the third time. Catania’s Mariano Andujar, Roma’s Nicolas Burdisso, Napoli’s Jesus Datolo and Ezequiel Lavezzi, Fiorentina’s Mario Bolatti, Palermo’s Javier Pastore, and Inter’s Diego Milito and Walter Samuel have also been named.

Maradona has the world’s best player at the moment, Lionel Messi at his disposal too. Messi hasn’t been able to recapture his incredible form at international level, though, which would be a vital hindrance if Argentina are to reclaim the World Cup.

“I think that with the system we have and the players we have all he needs is to explode, and surely he will do that at the World Cup,” Maradona said about the Barcelona forward.
Faced with a group that includes Nigeria, South Korea and Greece, Argentina are undoubtedly capable of going all the way, but their potential depends on how the group gels under Maradona’s leadership.

Argentina’s 30-man FIFA World Cup Provisional Squad: Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Diego Pozo (Colon); Nicolas Burdisso (Roma), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich), Walter Samuel (Inter Milan), Gabriel Heinze (Olympique Marseille), Nicolas Otamendi (Velez Sarsfield), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle), Juan Manuel Insaurralde (Newell's Old Boys), Clemente Rodriguez (Estudiantes), Ariel Garce (Colon); Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Sebastian Blanco (Lanus), Juan Sebastian Veron (Estudiantes), Jesus Datolo (Olympiacos), Jose Sosa (Estudiantes), Maxi Rodriguez (Liverpool), Mario Bolatti (Fiorentina), Juan Mercier (Argentinos Juniors), Angel Di Maria (Benfica), Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle), Javier Pastore (Palermo); Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Diego Milito (Inter Milan), Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli).

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