Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Under 20 begin their preparation tonight

After PEKERMAN's resignation there were changes in the AFA staff but some names remain the same. Hugo TOCALLI, PEKERMAN's assistant manager during the last World Cup takes control of the Under 20 National Team and he will have his debut tonight in a friendly match against Australia.

The 5-time Youth World Cup winning team (Japan '79 with MARADONA, Qatar '95, Malaysia '97, Argentina 2001 and Holland 2005) are preparing for the South American tournament (to be played in January 2007 in Paraguay). That competition will also serve as a qualifying tournament for the Under 20 World Cup in Canada.

But tonight, the brightest names won't be present for Argentina. Players like Lionel MESSI or Sergio AGÜERO will not be part of the team and it is a big doubt they will join TOCALLI's army in the near future.

MESSI has already won a Youth World Cup and he has a World Cup under his belt. It is very unlikely that he will go back to a youth level competition.

On the other hand, KUN will be granted the space and the freedom he needs to face his first season in La Liga, playing for Atletico Madrid. Besides, his situation could change if Alfio BASILE decides to call him up for the 'big boys'.

In any case, MESSI and KUN are very high profile names and it was pretty obvious for them not to play tonight in a game with nothing at stake. There are, however, a lot of well known players also ignored for tonight's match.

In fact, the game for tonight will be formed by virtually unknown players or young talents with no experience in the first division.

This is the probable starting eleven:

Julián FAZIO
Gonzalo GARCIA
Midfield (with a lot to be confirmed)
Sebastián BATTAGLIA (not the one playing in Boca Juniors for several years. He has the same name and surname!)

Kick-off will be tonight at 9:30 PM (Buenos Aires) (1:30 AM London, 8:30 PM New York).


Anonymous said...


As you know that it is in the FIFA World Youth Cup that a new Argies hero will be born (Aimar, Riquelme, Sorin, Saviola, Messi etc.) Any particular player that you would like to highlight to us that will shine in Canada 2007. Because most likely the players that will feature in that tournament could turn out for the Albiceleste in South Africa 2010

By the way, does Messi still qualifies to play for the Under-20 now that he has caps at senior level?


Joey said...

Messi and Kun should NOT play in youth championship any more!

They should play for your Olympic team and try to win the gold in Beijing 2008!

Youth championship is a place for new stars, not established ones! Messi and Kun should be the core for your senior team, not youth side any more!

Besides, both of them will have extremely busy schedule with their club teams next year. If you add that they have to play in Copa America and Olympic qualifying game, the two poor kinds already have over-crowded schedule. Please give them a little room to rest!

Seba said...

First of all, I would like to inform you that the match ended in a disappointing 0-0 result.

I didn't watch it because I went to my grandma's birthday party and had a great time with my family!

Diego BUONANOTTE could be one to watch in the next Youth World Cup. He is 18 (I think) and he plays for River. I'm yet to see him in action but the word about him is that he is a great prospect. He will surely be in TOCALLI's plans.

Mauro ZARATE is the youngest of a family full of talented footballers. He plays for Velez Sarsfield and he is a pacy and very skillful forward.

Matias CAHAIS was in action tonight and he is a great defender in the making.

I have seen Matías SANCHEZ playing for Racing and I was impressed by him. He plays in central midfield.

Joey, I agree with you about MESSI and KUN. They should not play U20 anymore. But I do expect them to feature in our Olympic team as well as in the Copa America.

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