Saturday, August 19, 2006

BASILE names squad to face Brazil

After a lot of speculation and minutes after his Boca Juniors team defeated Independiente 1-0, Alfio BASILE has finally delivered his first list of players for Argentina's next Saturday's friendly match against Brazil in London.


Gabriel MILITO
Fabricio FUENTES

Leandro SOMOZA
Federico INSÚA
Daniel BILOS

Carlos TEVEZ
Lionel MESSI

Very few surprises, some comebacks and only one player competing in Argentina (Hugo IBARRA).

Javier ZANETTI is ignored once again and his future with the Albiceleste looks complicated (to say the least). COCO preferred to take IBARRA to play right back (he is an impressive player, I must say) and with this sign I can't see ZANETTI coming back to our national team if IBARRA does well.

One ray of hope for Javier would be the fact that there is only one player competing in Italy on this list (Walter SAMUEL) and fitness is a worry for COCO because the Italian league is far from the starting point.

Juan Pablo SORIN is another of those historic players being ignored by COCO. In his case, the fact that he is yet to find a club to play for this season might have an influence on BASILE's decision. Same thing happens with SAVIOLA. I'm sure both players could be on COCO's plans in the future if they get a good first team run anywhere.

Walter SAMUEL makes a surprising return after being ignored by PEKERMAN before and during the World Cup.

Another couple of comeback kids are Clemente RODRIGUEZ (used to play with BIELSA) and Federico INSUA (has a couple of caps in the past).

Juan Roman RIQUELME gets the call and he will again become the play-maker. I don't think, however, that he is going to be untouchable as he was for PEKERMAN.

Surprise, Surprise!

Fabricio FUENTES used to play for Velez Sarsfield and now he does it for Atlas, Mexico. He is a tough central defender with good heading skills and leadership. He only played one friendly when BIELSA was Argentina's manager.

Knowing BASILE this next player is hardly a surprise. He had him last couple of seasons with Boca and was one of his key players. Now he plays for Saint Ettiene in France and will join Argentina only because he refused to play for Croatia before the last World Cup when he was tempted by their manager because he holds a Croatian passport. We are talking about Daniel BILOS. A former very tall centre forward who now plays in midfield. Is good on the ball and very fast.

Dream debut

If he sees some action, it'll represent his absolute international debut. We are talking about Leandro SOMOZA (25 years old). Recent signing for Villarreal, he is a fighting midfielder who plays with a lot of heart and commitment. He runs behind MASCHERANO and GAGO in the fight for the center midfielder role, but apparentely and judging by the looks of this list, he is before Martin DEMICHELIS in the pecking order.

The future is bright!

And the future is here! Lionel MESSI, Carlos TEVEZ and Sergio AGÜERO will be the main attractions in Argentina for years to come. BASILE has decided to used them from the start and that's the reason why I think this national team can be a joy to watch.

There are also votes of confidence for Javier MASCHERANO

A good core to surround the stars

And in some cases, these core players can also be called stars.

Having Maxi RODRIGUEZ is a luxury for any team in the World. Lucho GONZALEZ and Gabriel MILITO are also very important footballers and it is a good thing to see them staying put with a change of manager.

Starting eleven?

Provided they are all travelling to London with their respective clubs permissions, I think the most probable starting eleven is the following:


Hugo IBARRA (right back)
Gabriel MILITO (central defender)
Walter SAMUEL (central defender)
Clemente RODRIGUEZ (left back)

Javier MASCHERANO (central midfielder
Maxi RODRIGUEZ (right hand side midfielder)
Federico INSUA (left hand side midfielder)
Juan Román RIQUELME (just behind the 2 strikers as a play-maker)

Lionel MESSI
Carlos TEVEZ

Let's discuss about this list and see what happens in the week before that exciting friendly against Brazil.


Anonymous said...

Ni Hao Seba,

prompt post,good comment!
but there is no words about who will be the Captain in future years,what do you think?


Seba said...

Xiexie Vincent!

No words on the future captain yet.

And based on these players BASILE called up, I can't see a clear candidate. Maybe ABBONDANZIERI will be the chosen one against Brazil. Maybe SAMUEL (but he doesn't have the leadership needed from a captain).

Maybe for some other day I'll start a debate as people in Argentina doesn't seem to give importance to the captain and I see there is a big issue in Europe (specially in England).

That said, I don't think BASILE will hurry up to name a captain.

In my opinion, Javier MASCHERANO could be a good captain, but he is still young.

What is your pick?

Anonymous said...

Ni Hao Seba

I think neither ABBONDANZIERI nor SAMUEL has the leadership needed from a captain ,even thoughtthey have severed the national team for many years.
Can not agree with you on Javier MASCHERANO,but he is likely to be the captain in 3 or 4 years later.

The new face,Fabricio FUENTES may give us much surprise in the captain candidates.He was the leader in servral club s he has worked for.However,he did not get a position in periods of Pekerman and BIELSA .


Anonymous said...

Hi Seba,
Can not agree with you MORE on Javier MASCHERANO,but he is likely to be the captain in 3 or 4 years later.


ARG4EVER said...

I miss you VERON :(

Had to get that out of the way. Well loved what you have said, but for me, im not in a hurry to know who will captain the team, instead i rather see the National team form, and know who are the starting players, and from there we can find the leader who should be the HUNGRIEST OF THE PACK!!

With that said, we have to start building a young team that will have the fire to burn down every opponent that we will face.

I have faith in the Coach and the player to show character and courage as they are going into a friendly which always has a different feel than any other game. We have to win, and losing in not a choice, a will be happy with a draw, but we have to take the lead.

Seba keep up the good work, as i always read all your comments and postings.

Thanks again !!!!!


Seba said...

Thanks for the messages.

Latest news regarding injuries:

Gonzalo RODRIGUEZ could face 6 months away from football after he got injured in a friendly match between his Villarreal and Real Madrid. The problem is in his knee and this is a huge blow for a player who also missed a lot of last season.

Gabriel MILITO is also injured and we don't know if he'll be fit to face Brazil next Saturday.

Gabriel HEINZE didn't play for Manchester United today because the medical staff at Old Trafford say he is not ready to play a full 90 minutes. He has to go to the gym for three weeks before he gets back to 100%.

So that explains why BASILE didn't call Gonzalo RODRIGUEZ and Gabriel HEINZE.

Anonymous said...

Hi Seba,

Sorry for the long delay. By the way as for our basketball team seems like everything is goin according to plan (2 win out of 2). Today we'll play against Nigeria (who stun defending champion Serbia & Montenegro!!!) so I hope our boys will know what are they up against. The win against France was great but it will much greater if we had beaten them with Tony Parker around.

As for the squad named by Coco Basile, there seems to be a lot potential for the future. I guess this must be Coco's idea on looking ahead on a long term rather than a short term basis. But anyway I was watching Arsenal v Aston Villa the other day, and looks like there is a big and heavy add campaign involved about this game. So I can imagine how great (or intense) the atmosphere will be come that day.


Anonymous said...

Hi everyone,

Latest update. Did I said 2 win of out 2....well make it 3 out of 3.

Our boys have just won against Venezuela 96-54. Here is our score board

8 Walter, H. 25 4
4 Luis, S. 17 1
15 Ruben, W. 11 0
7 Fabricio, O. 10 3
10 Carlos, D. 9 3
6 Juan Ignacio, S. 7 2
13 Andrés, N. 5 0
5 Emanuel, G. 5 2
9 Gabriel, F. 3 0
12 Leonardo, G. 2 3
14 Daniel, F. 2 0
11 Pablo, P. 0 1

Once again. Vamos Argentina!!!


subh said...

hi seba,
given to me there r few players who deserve a place in the lineup and who have been ignored..
they being :
Ayala (was very good in teh world cup, even scored goals , what more can u ask)
Heinze ( may not be as good as ayala but very good)
Aimar (given he didnt get much of a scope in the WC, he is young and can prove to be good if tested, at the least i want himto be tested in friendlies at least)
Crespo (one may ignore him or say tevez is the net big thing, but he is still teh current best thing fro argentina.. he is the best striker available for Argentina by miles and he is clinical and very effective, more he is a team player)
saviola ( teh hard working lad deserves some chances).
can u tell me whats the issues with tehese players, how many r injured and how many r just ignored ??

Saurabh Bhattacharjee said...

I am disappointed that the reports of Zannetti's likely inclusion have proved wrong. But I wish the best for Clemente Rodriguez.

As far as other selections are concerned, there doe snot seem to be any definite discernible pattern.

As far as the link between Ayala and Saviola' exclusion and their instability at club level, one wonders whether that is a sensible one for they are part of their present club pre-season training. As such, they are no worse off than those who are settled with their clubs.

And Aimar's exclusion is surprising. or does Basile want to gauge the level of his promising youngsters before more onerous tests come up.

Saurabh Bhattacharjee said...

Hey Seba and other friends

I just read reports of a Pekerman interview to an Argentina journal where he has nade some explosive statement to the effect that had he had more time with the national side, he would have done better.

Apparently, he also expressed his displeasure with Messi and Tevez's individualist game against Holland and Mexico. (which I find strange for if that was he case, why did he not start with Saviola against Germany). There were also reports about his ire at the failure of the whole team to return to Argentina to the country.

Is there any grain of truth in these reports.

Seba said...

First of all, let me tell you that Corinthians (Brazil), the club where Javier MASCHERANO and Carlos TEVEZ play, have decided not to free these players for the friendly against Brazil (no surprise!).

Emerson LEAO (Corinthians manager) is a well known argentine-hater (he admits this) and now he says this is no FIFA official international date and he is not forced to let his players join their national team. On the other hand, he says he needs them both because Corinthians is struggling in the relegation fight.

Carlos TEVEZ said he might be on his way out of Brazil and a move to Europe seems to be on the plans. Manchester United, Chelsea and Bayern Munich were amongst the clubs interested in the Apache.

It is yet to be seen whether BASILE will work with just 18 players or if he'll call up a pair of players to replace TEVEZ and MASCHERANO against Brazil.

As for the "ignored" players for this friendly.

COCO spoke with AYALA and they both decided the best thing for Roberto was not to play this friendly until he arrange things at club level.

For ZANETTI and SORIN, I'm afraid it's not the same thing. I must confess that I think the internation career of these two former captains have come to an end.

AIMAR? Who knows what can happen in the future? I know he missed some time with Zaragoza because he was injured in the pre-season but I don't think the reason of him not being in the list has something to do with fitness. Maybe he is not one of BASILE's favourite. I don't know.

And for the record Saurabh, I didn't read those comments by PEKERMAN and I don't know if they are true or not.

Finally, John, our basketball team is looking great! We are allready in the Eight Finals and we'll play against one from Angola or New Zealand. I think we can beat both teams without many troubles.

Then for the Quarter Final it could be one from Brazil-Australia-Italy-Puerto Rico. Again, all of them are beatable.

The trouble will be the semifinal possible match against Spain. I think they are better than us at the moment and they have defeated us the last 3 times we faced them (one was before Athens2004). But it's not impossible for Argentina. If we play to the top of our game and we defend like lions (and we know we are capable of doing it), then we have a shot at playing the USA in the final match and hope for a third-time-lucky win against them!

Anonymous said...


Yes you are right, things are going great for our basketball team. At the present moment we should be able to reach the last 4 at least. But the question is as what you've said the posibility of meeting Spain. The Spanish team have been impressive themselves based on their performance against Dirk Nowitzki lead Germany. It might be a tall order for us not a imposible one


johnny said...

What about Ibarra for captain ? Seems to do a fine job for Boca, and with Coco at the helm.....

Anonymous said...

Small hitch. Seems like the new Corinthians coach won't let Tevez and Mascherano play against Brazil on the 3rd.

Seba said...

Not sure about IBARRA as captain.

I think for the near future, AYALA looks a candidate for COCO.

I believe he will keep on playing for Argentina and he certainly has experience (more than 100 caps for Argentina) and everybody respects him.

johnny said...

A bit off the topic, but watching Barca dismantle Bayern Munich this afternoon(at half 3-0). What a ton of talent for Barca. They look in midseason form already. Messi looks fit, but still young. He's a tough little fuck though.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see the Albiceleste in action again. Glad to see that Coco has included Riquelme in the team. In the British press he's already being touted as the best attacking midfielder along with Ronaldinho & Ballack. I've never seen Insua play but he must be something special to make it in the team. And then there's MAXI, 90 mins at break-neck speed, the team's pretty much set. One can already tell the respect we command in that Dunga's recalled Ronaldinho & Kaka.

This will be great clash, and I'm willing to stick my neck out by predicting a 3-1 victory to Argentina!!!!!

Papua New Guinea

Anonymous said...


According to an interview with Manu Ginobili on the FIBA website, he said that Argentina's goal is to win the World Championship. Nothing wrong with the confidence that the team possess but however I hope it will not be a backlash for the team performance in their next few games. Well good luck in their next two games against Nigeria and Serbia & Monteengro.

By the way I have a question for you. Through some sources I've manage to find out that there is an Argentinian playing in the NFL by the name Martin Gramaticca. I was hoping perhaps maybe you can provide some info about him. I'm not sure about the popularity of American Football in Argentina, but is there anyone aware of this player existences. From what I know he is a 2003 Super Bowl winner with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wow!!! Vamos Martin!!!


Seba said...

Newsflash: LA VOLPE is now Boca Juniors manager. He'll take over on September 15th so COCO BASILE can focus exclusively in Argentina.

John, Martin GRAMATICA also has 2 brothers and they are all kickers! Middle-brother Guillermo (known as BILL) used to kick for the Arizona Cardinals and he got ridicously injured while celebrating a field goal a few seasons ago.

Younger brother Santiago was in high-school last time I checked.

Martin had a great couple of seasons when he joined Tampa Bay in the NFL, even winning the SuperBowl (as you mentioned).

Now he is fighting for a starting role at New England (

There is an american football league in Argentina and I used to play flag-football in 1998. Then, through some differences between my team and the AAFA (Asociación Argentina de Football Americano) we decided to step out and we never played again.

Here's the link to the league we've got in Argentina. This is not flag-football, this is proper football! And I've got a couple of friends in Argentina National Team.

Check it out (it's in Spanish though):

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the info. Interesting to know that you used to play flag football. Being a sport fan myself, I’m always eager to venture into various types of sports. In fact most of the time, while surfing the net, is spent on the sport and entertainment section. In fact a couple of weeks ago I was getting into Aussie Rules and found out that there is following in Argentina. Any comment? And speaking of World Championship, Japan is also hosting the Volleyball World Championship this year and I know that Argentina is taking part. Nothing much that I know about this team except for one player by the name of Marcos Milinkovic

By the way I would like to discuss with you on a couple of issues. The first would on the level of other sports played in Argentina. As we know that football is full time professional (and players get paid well), what is like in other games? This was curiosity for me when I read your article on “The Others”. Forget about NBA based players but what is the average wages for someone like Luis Scola who plays in Europe?

The other issue was something that my friends and me were discussing about which is women's football. We all know that it is USA and China (whose men team are not the strongest in the world) are the world powerhouse in the women’s game. What about in Argentina because from what I’ve read that in Brazil, the National women’s team is often ridiculed by the media. Not that I have anything against the idea of women playing the game. (I think some the women’s player are quite attractive!!!)Also I feel great that they play a part of the game as well


Seba said...

I'll talk about all these issues later on.

Now, before I go to bed at 3:12 AM (after watching Argentina winning a hard-fought game against Serbia & Montenegro), I would like to tell you that Hugo IBARRA is injured and his place as a right back to play against Brazil could be filled up by a certain Javier ZANETTI!

Plus, Javier SAVIOLA is taking part of FC Barcelona's squad to play the European Supercup against UEFA Cup champions Sevilla (his former team).

That is great news for the Little Rabbit who is scoring every time he plays for Barça.

Again, John, I'll talk more about those questions you've asked some other time.

Good night now!

Seba said...

Oh...and I've just read that Martin GRAMATICA have lost his place in New England Patriots' roster for this season.

He is now unemployed again.

A shame for one of the finest kickers in the NFL during the last decade.

Seba said...

And finally (I promise this is the last one before I go to sleep), I would like to know how is Joey?

Where are you? Everything fine?

Hope you are allright and hope to read some of your comments soon.

Anonymous said...

Great to hear from Seba,

Was wondering what happen? Anyway a very good night to you. Looks like you're gonna a good sleep, thanks to our tall heroes splendid performance (5-0 record!!!) against Serbia & Montenegro.

And I really hope Martin Gramatica will get a place in any other NFL team this season.

Can't wait to hear your comments regarding on the issues that I've raised earlier. Good night (or is it Good Morning)


Anonymous said...

Hey Seba,

What have you heard about Tevez and Mascherano? Are they going to get to play or are they going to replaced and if so then with who?

Seba said...

While Argentina were defeating New Zealand to advance to the basketball world championships' quarter finals, Carlos TEVEZ was being interview as part of a big show on Fox Sports Latin America and he said he'll train this week with BASILE and he has every chance to face Brazil next Sunday in London.

Apparentely, he received permission from Corinthians' general manager to get away from the club until August 31st. But rumour has it, he'll be joining a big European club before that date and he'll never come back to Corinthians.

That's why he could be playing against Brazil.

It's not the same situation with MASCHERANO. He was denied by his manager and he is staying in Brazil to play for Corinthians.

Seba said...

Newsflash: BASILE have called up Javier SAVIOLA and Leandro PONZIO (midfielder - Real Zaragoza, Spain) to join Argentina squad ahead of the friendly match against Brazil.

subh said...

heard Arsenal is in talks for Mascherano and ManU is making some $47 million bid for Tevez...
how true r these rumours any updates in Argentina about all these...
It will be great to see those 2 very good players in action in the Premiership

pablitoaimar21 said...

hi again!it's been a long time...i don't think you remember me , i'm the one who always supported aimar in the world cup!i havent writen since the end of the world cup.but im here again.

im glad that ibarra was called from basile for the friendly match against brazil.he is a talented player with great skills that can help the team to perform great in front.i hope ayala will join the team in the future, he is the one who inspires the team's defense to perform superb.

however, i hope that aimar will once again join the team(i hope he is on basile's plans. he is a very talented player but the continuous injuries didn't allow him to reach perfect shape.he needs time. about basile though...he must find a substitute of we have seen in the recent world cup, riquelme didnt always respond to the team's play. there were matches that riquelme didn't help at all, but pekerman insisted to let him play. i dont know about basile, but if he is not counting on aimar, he has to find someone else to substitute him. he has a vital role in the team and i hope aimar will finally get his chance.

what about up in front?im sure basile is interested in speed but he must have a strong player in the team, such as crespo. our offense is made up of skillful players with a lot of speed on their foot.but they are all too short and unable to help the team in aerial fights. the team will always have to play with the ball down and we'll have several problems against strong defenses. let's hope crespo will be called up again.we need to have strength in attack.
bye for now

Anonymous said...


The TALL GUYS have won 83-58...Bring on Gasol!!!! :)

Vamos Argentina!!


Anonymous said...


So looks like it is Spain that will decide our fate in the World Championship. Gasol and Co. have been much impressive either and after our defeat in the last meeting, I'm not sure whether our Tall Argies are up for it.


Allan Ng said...

Hi Seba,

Just read that Saviola has been added to the Argentina squad for the Brazil friendly.

Do you know why Frank Rijkaard has been so keen to sell him? I mean, it doesn't seem to be a football problem to me as Saviola has played well for Argentina and Barcelona.

Eidur Gudjohnsen is a good player but he is probably nearer the end of his career than Saviola is. Why couldn't Rijkaard give the no. 7 shirt to Saviola? Ronaldinho plays well with Saviola too, surely that must count for something.


Hong Kong

Anonymous said...

Hi Seba,

Based on from what I've heard that Saviola has been included in the Barcelona squad for this season. Now the question remains whether will he be just fringe player in the squad or will he be used on a rotation basis with the likes Messi or Gudjohnsen.

Yes Allan you're right about the problem Saviola is facing because I'm not sure what goes on in Rijkaard's head. How could he been so ignorance towards such a gifted player? Anyway I hope Saviola will prove the critics wrong come this Saturday.

I'm really hoping for a double celebration as not our football team will taking on Brazil, but hopefully our basketball team will overcome their bogey team (Spain) and reach the finals.


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