Argentina squad vs Catalonia

On the 22nd December, Argentina will play a friendly against the Catalán national side. Diego Maradona’s not allowed to watch (the appeal against his ban was thrown out by FIFA on Wednesday), but he’s named the squad all the same. Catalonia were banned from playing a match with the USA back in 2007 but, when a match has been arranged with an FA in need of cash which is presided over by a FIFA Vice-President, it’s not such a problem apparently. Here’s the squad.

Argentina squad to play Catalonia, 22nd December 2009:

Goalkeepers:
Diego Pozo (Colón)
Mariano Andújar (Catania, Italy)

Defenders:
Nicolás Pareja (Espanyol, Spain)
Martín Demichelis (Bayern München, Germany)
Nicolás Otamendi (Vélez Sársfield)
Cristian Ansaldi (Rubin Kazan, Russia)

Midfielders:
Fernando Gago (Real Madrid, Spain)
Maximiliano Rodríguez (Atlético de Madrid, Spain)
Jesús Dátolo (Napoli, Italy)
Ángel Di María (Benfica, Portugal)
Pablo Aimar (Benfica)
Javier Mascherano (Liverpool, England)
Mario Bolatti (Huracán)
Cristian Alvarez (Arsenal Fútbol Club)

Forwards:
Gonzalo Higuaín (Real Madrid)
Sergio Agüero (Atlético de Madrid)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Spain)
Martín Palermo (Boca Juniors)
Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli)

The novelty, aside from the fact that the squad shows just how thin on the ground Argentina are for quality defenders, is Cristian Alvarez of Arsenal de Sarandí, who gets his first call-up. Cristian Ansaldi, a newly-crowned Russian champion, keeps his place from the previous squad on the back of an impressive showing in his club’s European Cup group. Jesús Dátolo is back and so, a little surprisingly, is Martín Palermo.

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