News today that both Newcastle United’s Argentine players, Gutierrez and Coloccini are in the provisional 30 man squad, named yesterday by manager Diego Maradona for the World Cup in South Africa.
Coloccini and Gutierrez shown with Jose Enrique
World Player of the Year Lionel Messi is obviously included, but surprisingly there is no room for 36 year-old defender Javier Zanetti in the provisional squad.
Zanetti has played 136 times for Argentina and an amazing 503 games for Internazionale since joining them in 1995, but misses out this summer.
The 30-man squad has to be reduced to a 23 man roster from this list of players.
The big surprises were the inclusion of defenders Ariel Garce (Colon) and Juan Insaurralde (Newell’s) and midfielder Sebastian Blanco (Lanus).
And since these players are fairly inexperienced International defenders, there has to be a decent chance that Newcastle’s great Fabricio Coloccini, who has just completed a fantastic season at the back for Newcastle United – will make the cut.
The surprises, in addition to Zanetti, captain of Champions League finalists Internatioanle, was that team-mate Esteban Cambiasso and Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago were also left out by Maradona, but veteran 35 year-old Juan Sebastián Verón, now playing for Estudiantes, made the 30 man squad.
Only nine players, including Newcastle’s Coloccini, on the 30-man list have played in previous World Cups.
Argentina, which I will be covering for the Daily Telegraph this summer, will play its final warm-up game at home on May 24th against Canada.
The World Cup opens on June 11th and Argentina play their first game on Saturday June 12th against Nigeria. Greece and South Korea are also in their Group B.
England start their campaign against the USA on that same day.
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Diego Pozo (Colon)
Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Velez Sarsfield), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich), Walter Samuel (Inter Milan), Gabriel Heinze (Marseille), Nicolas Burdisso (AS Roma), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle), Ariel Garce (Colon), Juan Insaurralde (Newell’s Old Boys), Clemente Rodriguez (Estudiantes)
Midfielders: Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle), Juan Sebastian Veron (Estudiantes), Jose Sosa (Estudiantes), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Angel Di Maria (Benfica), Javier Pastore (Palermo), Sebastian Blanco (Lanus), Maxi Rodriguez (Liverpool), Juan Mercier (Argentinos), Jesus Datolo (Olimpiakos), 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), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli).