Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Argentina's 23-Man Squad Getting Ready For War

Diego Maradona and the Argentinian national team arrived at Pretoria very early ahead of the World Cup 2010. Clearly he has learned a thing or two about high altitude acclimatisation from that horrible 6-1 Bolivia bruising back in May 2009. Argentina will be my pick to lift the World Cup in South Africa. But the road to ultimate glory will not be easy, at least not until the quarterfinals.

I ran the Castrol Football Opponent Predictor and these are Argentina's likely opponents in the knockout stages. In short, Spain and Brazil are the two teams clearly better than Argentina so with a bit of luck, Argentina have a very good chance. After all, any team with Messi, Aguero and Milito have a better than 50% chance of lifting the World Cup trophy.

You can read the very incisive press conference with Maradona and captain Mascherano over at the ever-excellent Mundo Albiceleste. For all Maradona's manic rants and antics in qualification rounds, he sounded surprisingly Mourinho-esque in the press conference. The calmness, focus and inner strength must be good for the squad's confidence.

Argentina 23-man Squad:
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Diego Pozo (Colon)

Defenders: Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich), Nicolas Otamendi (Velez Sarsfield), Walter Samuel (Inter Milan), Gabriel Heinze (Marseille), Nicolas Burdisso (AS Roma), Ariel Garce (Colon), Clemente Rodriguez (Estudiantes)

Midfielders: Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle), Juan Sebastian Veron (Estudiantes), Angel Di Maria (Benfica), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Maxi Rodriguez (Liverpool), Javier Pastore (Palermo), Mario Bolatti (Fiorentina)

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Diego Milito (Inter Milan), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors)

For those who have yet to see 20-year old Javier Pastore in action, here are some highlights,

Another player who could make an impact in this World Cup is Benfica's Angel Di Maria, watch out for the tricky winger in Argentina's starting eleven,

Argentina has a world class attack which rivals Spain in terms of ability and creativity. That, in my opinion, is the reason why Argentina will lift the World Cup this summer.

1 comment:

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