Copa América 2011: Argentina squad finalised

Sergio Batista announced on Saturday the three names to be cut from the 26-man preliminary list for the Copa América. The Argentine press describe it as ‘without surprises’, but I have to confess I’m slightly taken aback that Diego Milito has made the cut, whilst Lanús playmaker Diego Valeri hasn’t. Fernando Gago’s fiancée Gisela Dulko might not be too pleased by the announcement that he’s made the squad; they were supposed to get married in the middle of the tournament. The whole squad is here, along with shirt numbers, and my suggestion as to the likely starting XI, in case you haven’t caught any of Argentina’s first team games since last year’s World Cup.

Argentina squad for Copa América Argentina 2011

Note that numbers don’t necessarily have anything to do with position or likely status within the squad – even more so with Argentina than most national sides. Sergio Romero will be first choice in goal, but prefers to wear number 18. Likewise, Javier Mascherano will be 14 because that’s the number he prefers, and Gonzalo Higuaín’s number 9 shouldn’t be taken to mean he’s a guaranteed starter.

Goalkeepers
1. Juan Pablo Carrizo (River Plate)
12. Mariano Andújar (Catania, Italy)
23. Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands)

Defenders
2. Ezequiel Garay (Real Madrid, Spain)
3. Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City, England)
4. Nicolás Burdisso (Roma, Italy)
6. Gabriel Milito (Barcelona, Spain)
8. Javier Zanetti (Internazionale, Italy)
13. Nicolás Pareja (Spartak Moscow, Russia)
17. Marcos Rojo (Spartak Moscow)

Midfielders
5. Esteban Cambiasso (Internazionale)
7. Ángel Di María (Real Madrid)
14. Javier Mascherano (Barcelona)
15. Lucas Biglia (Anderlecht, Belgium)
19. Ever Banega (Valencia, Spain)
20. Fernando Gago (Real Madrid)
18. Javier Pastore (Palermo, Italy)

Forwards
9. Gonzalo Higuaín (Real Madrid)
10. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
11. Carlos Tevez (Manchester City)
16. Sergio Agüero (Atlético de Madrid, Spain)
21. Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli, Italy)
22. Diego Milito (Internazionale)

Sergio Batista’s preferred starting formation is a 4-3-3, with the midfield focussed on screening the back line and retaining possession, tending to get forward to support attacks but not to play too close to the space Lionel Messi, as the ‘false’ number 9, will be dropping into from the front line. Carlos Tevez and Sergio Agüero are likely to be second choice to Ángel Di María and Ezequiel Lavezzi, at least at the start of the tournament. For a change of emphasis, should one be needed, Javier Pastore or Lucas Biglia are likely to be introduced for one of the mifielders.

Probable formation

Romero

Zanetti Milito Burdisso Rojo

Banega Mascherano (c) Cambiasso

Lavezzi —- Messi —- Di María

You can follow the ins and outs during the 2011 relegation playoffs, as well as the latest news from the selección in the buildup to the Copa América direct from Buenos Aires with HEGS on Twitter. If you’ve not signed up yet you can do so here. You can also join the official HEGS Facebook group, to keep up to date with the latest posts on the blog and discuss things with other fans. You’ll find it here. And remember to bookmark Hand Of Pod, our Argentine football podcast, or if you prefer you can subscribe to it on iTunes here.

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Photo taken from ole.clarin.com

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4 thoughts on “Copa América 2011: Argentina squad finalised

  1. So all we need in order to see Carlos Tevez and Sergio Agüero start is to have Ángel Di María and Ezequiel Lavezzi not doing much and the former two coming as substitutions and scoring goals. In a way Batista is asking Tevez to prove himself worthy for a start. Interesting.

    1. Thanks, Carambano. I was going with the list on canchallena.com (which, thanks to La Nación’s useless search function, I can’t find to link to now), but Olé as well as the official AFA site (who I wouldn’t necessarily trust on their own!) have gone with that numbering. I’ll change it right away!

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