Originally featured on the TalkingTikiTaka – WC2014 Blog
Despite playing a large part in helping Juventus secure the Serie A title this season, former Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez is somewhat of a surprise omission from the Argentina squad for the upcoming World Cup. Many had expected El Apache to feature in what is already a very strong attacking squad alongside the likes of Sergio Aguero, Ezequiel Lavezzi and of course Lionel Messi in what is arguably one of the strongest set of strikers heading into this summer’s competition. But instead Sabella has opted to draft in former Chelsea and Wigan striker Franco Di Santo, to the surprise of many into his squad of 30.
Unsurprisingly to many who follow the Barclays Premier League and in particular Tottenham Hotspur, £25.8M summer signing Erik Lamela misses out after a season plagued by injury and underwhelming performances on the rare occasion he made an appearance for Spurs. Aside from those that missed out, there are surprise inclusions for Catania’s Fabian Rinaudo and River Plate centre back Gabriel Mercado, whilst Martin Demichelis of Manchester City has earnt himself an unexpected call up after a solid end to the season with the Premier League champions after some might say, a turbulent start to his time in English football. Sabella has also taken a gamble through the inclusion of a trio of injured midfielders – Fernando Gago, Angel Di Maria and Augusto Fernández, who hope to fit in time for their opening Group F match against Bosnia. Argentina face both Trinidad and Tobago and Slovenia ahead of the beginning of the competition and it will certainly be interesting to see who fails to make the final 23 with Sabella willingness to leave out big name players as shown with the likes of both Lamela and Tevez.
Argentina’s 30 man provisional squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Agustin Orion (Boca Juniors).
Defenders: Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Federico Fernandez (Napoli), Ezequiel Garay (Benfica), Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisbon), Hugo Campagnaro (Inter Milan), Martin Demichelis (Manchester City), Jose Basanta (Monterrey), Nicolas Otamendi (Atletico Mineiro), Lisandro Lopez (Getafe), Gabriel Mercado (River Plate).
Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Ever Banega (Newell’s Old Boys), Ricardo Alvarez (Inter Milan), Augusto Fernandez (Celta Vigo), Jose Sosa (Atletico Madrid), Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid), Maxi Rodriguez (Newell’s Old Boys), Fabian Rinaudo (Catania), Enzo Perez (Benfica).
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris Saint-Germain), Franco Di Santo (Werder Bremen).