On the 20th of this month, a national side consisting solely of players from the domestic league (which HEGS shall henceforth refer to as ‘Argentina B’) will take on Panama in Santa Fe. Diego Maradona announced the squad (including six Boca Juniors or Estudiantes players who won’t be involved unless their club have been eliminated from the Copa Libertadores by then) on Tuesday, and three players at least will be in their home stadium.
Sebastián Prediger of Colón, aged 22, is one of the central midfielders called up by Diego for the match in his own club’s ground. He’ll be joined by his Colón team-mates Alexis Ferrero and Diego Pozo. With most of the incorporations to the squad inevitably being younger players, Seba Verón will be one of the leaders of the group (if, of course, Estudiantes exit the Copa). Independiente’s Daniel Montenegro will provide some experience as well.
The squad in full:
Cristian Campestrini (Arsenal Fútbol Club)
Diego Pozo (Colón de Santa Fe)
Emiliano Papá (Vélez Sársfield)
Nicolás Otamendi (Vélez Sársfield)
Ignacio Canuto (Argentinos Juniors)
Matías Caruzzo (Argentinos Juniors)
Alexis Ferrero (Colón de Santa Fe)
Maximiliano Moralez (Vélez Sársfield)
Sebastián Blanco (Lanús)
Franco Zuculini (Racing Club)
Hernán Bernardello (Newell’s Old Boys)
Fabián Rinaudo (Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata)
Daniel Montenegro (Independiente)
Sebastián Prediger (Colón de Santa Fe)
Mauro Fórmica (Newell’s Old Boys)
José Sand (Lanús)
Eduardo Salvio (Lanús)
Gonzalo Bergessio (San Lorenzo de Almagro)
Matías De Federico (Huracán)
Milton Caraglio (Rosario Central)
As well as these, there are three players each, as mentioned above, from Boca Juniors and Estudiantes de La Plata. The Boca contingent are defender Juan Forlín, midfielder Sebastián Battaglia and striker Martín Palermo, whilst Estudiantes’ representatives are goalkeeper Mariano Andújar, full back Marcos Angeleri and midfielder Juan Sebastián Verón.
Anyone tuning in expecting Argentines Abroad – it’ll be going up on Thursday, to take any contributions (or otherwise) from Señores Messi and Di Santo into account from Wednesday night’s European Cup semi-final second leg between Chelsea and Barcelona.
Not one player from River?
And who would you pick from River? There’s not even one player in that team that deserves a chance even with this Argentina B.
Honestly. Give me the name of one player who is good enough to play for Argentina.
How about Cristian Fabbiani?
Now take it easy fellas before you start pouring acid and calling hit-men on me, consider your words and be nice.
Apathetic…with that answer, you have strengthened my point. No River Plate player at the moment is good enough even for this “Argentina B”.
No acid from me, mate! hahaha! I think you have enough punishment having to put up with River’s current form!
What about Ahumada?
Surely a great player!
Diego’s a good judge, Prediger is excellent and deserves his call up, he’s performed consistently well when he’s been in the Colón side.
Zuculini, though, will soon be good enough for Argentina, never mind ‘Argentina B’!
De Federico is in wonderful form at the moment.
Just a question, how far do people think this squad would get in a World Cup finals tournament? I’ve been wondering, with the poor Libertadores results, and some of the terrible play I’ve seen from the like of River and San Lorenzo in the home league, that standards domestically are pretty low at the moment. But looking at the names here, I think it’s at least as strong as the first chosen squads of middle-nations such as Ivory Coast and Czech Republic, and would get to the last eight maybe?
I don’t think this squad is for the World Cup. I believe is just for strategies. I think Maradona is studying the other teams in these friendly matches. The squad for the world cup surely will be all those super stars playing in Europe. Since, he can’t call all those stars playing in Europe he is using the Argentina B and not even the ones from Primera.
Interesting point, Matt.
I think the standard in our domestic league is quite poor and to be fair on our clubs, you have to recognize the fact that players are leaving for Europe even before they make a name for themselves in the First Division. Add to that the fact that most of our clubs are struggling financially and you’ll see players moving to Mexico or the MLS just because clubs there can offer better money. And then you even have to see fringe players plying their trade in leagues like the Russian, Swiss, Dutch and even in Greece and Cyprus!
We still have a very attractive league to watch because pretty much every club is in the same position…
Regarding this B Team, I think you’re right. They’d probably lose against Ivory Coast or the Czech Republic, but I think they would be able to compete. Not to mention what they would do in two or three years time, with players like Otamendi (absolute classy Velez central defender with only 10 matches or so in the first division. He’s been highly impressive. Best player of this Clausura), Zuculini, Salvio, Blanco, Maxi Moralez, Defederico, Caraglio, Bergessio…
What if we send these guys up to Quito a few days before we have to face Ecuador in the altitude?