Argentina squad vs. Egypt

On Wednesday, Alfio Basile announced the squad of 20 players to face Egypt in a friendly in Cairo on the 26th of March. The squad consists entirely of Europe-based players, since the home- (and one Mexico-) based ones are in action next week in the Copa Libertadores and their domestic leagues.

Argentina squad to face Egypt, 26th March (managed by Alfio Basile):

Goalkeepers:
Roberto Abbondanziere (Getafe, Spain)
Oscar Ustari (Getafe)
Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands)

Defenders:
Javier Zanetti (Internazionale, Italy)
Nicolás Burdisso (Internazionale)
Martín Demichelis (Bayern München, Germany)
Gabriel Milito (Barcelona, Spain)
Gabriel Heinze (Real Madrid, Spain)
Fabricio Coloccini (Deportivo de La Coruña, Spain)

Midfielders:
Esteban Cambiasso (Internazionale)
Fernando Gago (Real Madrid)
Pablo Zabaleta (Espanyol, Spain)
Javier Mascherano (Liverpool, England)
Maximiliano Rodríguez (Atlético de Madrid, Spain)
Luís González (Porto, Portugal)

Forwards:
Julio Cruz (Internazionale)
Sergio Agüero (Atlético de Madrid)
Lisandro López (Porto)
Fernando Cavenaghi (Bordeaux, France)
Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli, Italy)

So Fernando Cavenaghi’s excellent goalscoring run for Bordeaux earns him a call-up. Leaving Moscow was a good idea after all, it seems. Carlos Tevez is left out, whilst the emphasis in this match, according to Basile, will be to experiment with a different system of play with Boca Juniors’ Juan Román Riquelme out of the side.

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18 thoughts on “Argentina squad vs. Egypt

  1. Andrew, Hopefuly the following citing from Wikipedia will help you understand why:

    ‘Very early on he made an impact for the club, scoring a hat-trick in a 3–1 victory over Pisa in the Coppa Italia at the Stadio San Paolo; this was the first hat-trick by a Napoli player in fourteen years.[7] The first league goal Lavezzi scored for Napoli, came during a 5–0 victory against Udinese on 2 September 2007. After the match he was described in reports as “inspirational”,[8] with the media proclaiming “Napoli’s star is born”.[8] The Neapolitan club hadn’t won a league match by such a large margin since 1988, when Diego Maradona was at the club.[9]’

    I guess the hat trick and the trivia connection to Maradona earned him a place.

  2. And I might add that although I’ve been unable to catch Napoli this season (they’ve only been on C5 once or twice and I’ve been away for the weekend every time), all the reports I’ve read on Lavezzi seem to consist of translations of the Italian press absolutely drooling over him. He is, by all accounts, a far more complete player now than the highly skilled but slightly selfish one who was at San Lorenzo last year.

    Basile’s chosen a squad based on the players he thinks are in form – hence Cavenaghi’s first call-up, Lucho’s recall (not that, in my opinion, Lucho should ever have been dropped in the first place) and Julio Cruz’s inclusion. The biggest encouragement has to be his recognition that Argentina need to find a way to play that doesn’t involve JRR (or, for that matter, Messi). I wouldn’t expect Lavezzi to be the answer to that, but it’ll be interesting to see how it goes.

  3. Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how they can perform against the African champions.

    BTW I just came across your site recently and think you are pretty spot on with your news/analysis. Keep up the good work, Sam.

  4. So even if they don’t play with an outright, JRR-esque Playmaker, who is the attacking midfielder in this lineup? Maxi? Lucho? Be interesting to see how/if it works.

    Sam, do you have any idea if the scheduled friendly against Jamaica in London in May is going to happen? Because I’ve been unable to find a definite venue anywhere on the net, and have read that it may have been cancelled…

  5. I think the key word with LAVEZZI is PACE. With that alone, he makes a difference. Add to that that he is incredibly skillful and you’ve got yourself a player with a huge potential and a lot of credentials.

    David N, as far as I’m know, Argentina will play Jamaica in London on May 31st. One week after facing Catalunya and a few days before playing Hungary in Budapest.

    I believe it’s pretty much confirmed, but with the AFA, you never know!

  6. David, you’ve just told me about the London match. I don’t tend to pay any attention to international fixtures until the one before it is out the way, I must admit, unless there are two within a few days of each other.

    And I’d have thought that without Riquelme, we can expect either Kun (Agüero) or Lavezzi to drop deep and play as more of a traditional 10, presumably with either Cruz or Cavenaghi a little further up the pitch. But I’m not Alfio Basile.

  7. lucho and cambiasso???? i think they had showed already that they can not play in the selection, and less be the “conductors”!! they are very “pechos frios”, I dont understand! we will see another defeat or a just lucky victoire

  8. I’d have to disagree, Carla. Cambiasso doesn’t play (for the selección at least) in a position that he’ll win matches from, but he and Lucho were two of the most impressive performers at the last World Cup, and both have been superb this season for their clubs.

    I don’t think Cambiasso will start, but Lucho is a great option for a wide-left midfielder who can also switch to the centre or the right if needed. And if you want ‘pecho frío’ [for non-Spanish readers that’s ‘cold chest’, or the habit of freezing in big games] for the national side, look at the man this friendly significantly won’t be including – take a bow, JRR…

  9. I think thats a myth about JRR. Aside from the Champions League tie against Arsenal for Villarreal, where he indisputably choked, he hasn’t really frozen in a recent big game that I can remember. In the World Cup game against Germany, while not at his best, he was controlling the rhythm of the play, and maintaining possession until he was substituted. In the Copa America against Brazil he was double-marked and fouled out of the game. He didn’t choke in the Copa Libertadores final either, now did he?

  10. He certainly didn’t David, but he wasn’t playing for Argentina in that one.

    I like watching Riquelme – when he’s on top of his game. But when he’s not, any team whose tactical system is built around him (as Argentina were in the last World Cup) will struggle. And whilst I’ll admit the accusations that he always chokes big games aren’t entirely fair, I do think there’s a bit to them than pointing at González and Cambiasso.

    Ultimately, of course, it’s a collective action, but with tactics so heavily built around bringing out the best in him as an individual, Riquelme’s in for more stick if it doesn’t work out – and to an extent, he should be.

  11. It will be an interesting match.If Egypt scores first, the palyers will be more confident playing #1 team in the world. Egypt will win if it plays the same way it palyed in
    the african games.all of cote d’iviore and cameroon players play in the same Euopean teams along with the argentian players

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