Sergio Batista has announced the Argentina squad which will travel to Tokyo for a friendly against Japan on the 8th October. In spite of the injury he suffered against Atlético de Madrid at the weekend, Lionel Messi is included, as are returnees Oscar Ustari and José Sosa. There’s also a first call-up to the senior squad for Nicolás Gaitán, as expected. Batista and his assistant Alberto Rodríguez will travel to Spain on Friday night to meet the Spain-based players and their club managers over the weekend. He’ll travel to Tokyo on the 2nd October. The squad for the friendly is right here.
Argentina squad to face Japan in Tokyo, 8th October 2010:
Mariano Andújar (Catania, Italy)
Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands)
Oscar Ustari (Getafe, Spain)
Nicolás Burdisso (Roma, Italy)
Martín Demichelis (Bayern München, Germany)
Gabriel Heinze (Olympique Marseille, France)
Gabriel Milito (Barcelona, Spain)
Walter Samuel (Internazionale, Italy)
Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City, England)
Javier Zanetti (Internazionale)
Mario Bolatti (Fiorentina, Italy)
Esteban Cambiasso (Internazionale)
Andrés D’Alessandro (Internacional, Brazil)
Ángel Di María (Real Madrid, Spain)
Fernando Gago (Real Madrid)
Nicolás Gaitán (Benfica, Portugal)
Javier Mascherano (Barcelona)
Javier Pastore (Palermo, Italy)
Sergio Agüero (Atlético de Madrid, Spain)
Gonzalo Higuaín (Real Madrid)
Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli, Italy)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Diego Milito (Internazionale)
José Sosa (Napoli)
Carlos Tevez (Manchester City, England)
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Photo taken from canchallena.com
Why was Gaitán expected to be chosen, Sam? He’s hardly set the Portugal alight and was dropped for the derby against Sporting in which Jorge Jesus preferred to play Fabio Coentrão on the left-wing.
The big head-scratcher in Portugal is how Gaitán can be chosen, but how Fernando Belluschi can be left out. He’s arguably the player of the season-so-far.
It was expected because Batista gave a radio interview a few days ago very strongly hinting (all but confirming, in fact) that it would happen, Steve. He knows Gaitán well from his time in the youth team and is eager to get some sort of continuity going from youth players through to the adult national side. I suspect that’s got something to do with continuing to overlook Belluschi as well. Checho’s a lot, lot better than Maradona but, alas, he’s still not perfect…