In an interview with Argentine cable-TV channel, TyC Sports, Sergio BATISTA revealed this Friday afternoon a number of names that will be on that list.
Let's see them all here.
First of all, the senior players (over 23). To the names of Martín DEMICHELIS (SEE IMPORTANT INFO BELOW), Javier MASCHERANO and Juan Román RIQUELME, BATISTA said that he will add 3 other senior players to this list, in case an injury or any other problem sideline the original trio. Those three "backups" are Gabriel MILITO, Esteban CAMBIASSO and Julio CRUZ.
BATISTA said all of the players that went to Los Angeles to play Guatemala are on that list.
That leaves us with the following names confirmed:
Oscar USTARI, (Getafe, Spain)
Sergio ROMERO, (AZ Alkmaar, Holland)
Federico FAZIO, (Sevilla, Spain)
Jonatan MAIDANA, (Boca Juniors, Argentina)
Pablo ZABALETA, (Espanyol, Spain)
Cristian ANSALDI, (Newell's Old Boys, Argentina)
Ever BANEGA, (Valencia, Spain)
José SOSA, (Bayern Munich, Germany)
Damián ESCUDERO, (Vélez Sársfield, Argentina)
Augusto FERNANDEZ, (River Plate, Argentina)
Angel DI MARIA, (Benfica, Portugal)
Ezequiel LAVEZZI, (Napoli, Italia)
Gonzalo HIGUAIN, (Real Madrid, Spain)
Marco RUBEN, (Recreativo de Huelva, Spain)
So...let's recap here:
We've got the 3 seniors, the 3 senior back-ups and the list of players that went to Los Angeles to face Guatemala, for a total of 20 players.
The manager threw a few other names to the table, so we need to add the following names to our list:
Nicolás NAVARRO, (goalkeeper, ex-Argentinos Juniors, now at Napoli, Italy)
Fabián ASSMANN, (goalkeeper, Independiente, Argentina)
Gabriel PALETTA, (Boca Juniors, Argentina)
Ezequiel GARAY, (Racing Santander, Spain)
Emiliano INSUA, (Liverpool, England)
Claudio YACOB, (Racing Club, Argentina)
Matías SANCHEZ, (Racing Club, Argentina)
Maximiliano MORALEZ, (Racing Club, Argentina)
Alejandro GOMEZ, (Arsenal, Argentina)
Franco DI SANTO, (Chelsea, England)
Gastón DIAZ, (Vélez Sársfield, Spain)
Diego VALERI, (Lanús, Argentina)
Lautaro ACOSTA, (Lanús, Argentina) -he couldn't be out of this list! He is the hero that scored in injury time to defeat Uruguay and get us a ticket for Beijing-
So we've got 33 out of the 35-40 that BATISTA will write down on a piece of paper (well...probably not on a piece of paper!) and hand out to the IOC next Tuesday.
Did I say 33? Make it 34. Fernando GAGO (Real Madrid, Spain) will also be on that list. He was originally in the list to face Guatemala and had to miss out through injury.
WAIT! What's wrong with me????
Am I stupid or what?
Add Lionel MESSI and Sergio AGÜERO to that list, por favor! 35 and 36.
I'm sure I'm missing at least one great U23 player here. Apologies in advance and your help is welcome.
First of all, I think BATISTA is doing a great job. Everytime I hear him, he sounds like he is on top of things. Following everything very closely.
I believe by doing this and by revealing these names, he'll give extra motivation to everyone of these players and nothing bad can come out of that.
An interesting choice for the senior back-up trio. I like CAMBIASSO because he can play in a number of different positions. Gabriel MILITO is a solid central defender who can do, with his vast experience, a great job facing U23 teams. But I'm not a fan of Julio CRUZ. I love his work-rate and all, but I don't think he'll be my choice as a senior striker. BATISTA named 6 seniors in total and CRUZ is his choice for striker. Do we all think CRUZ is our best over-23 striker?
I'm glad Franco DI SANTO is on this list as I'm very keen on watching him with the Albiceleste. He is not having many chances at Chelsea but he's got what it takes and he can be a very welcomed addition to a team that has a lot of things up front but height!
All in all, a very strong list of names that will translate in a prestigious team and a proper defending champion.
What are your thoughts?
PULGA TO RECOVER AT HOME
In other news, Lionel MESSI arrived in Argentina to follow the recovery from his latest injury (sustained against Celtic in the UEFA Champions League eight-finals). He will go to his home-town in Rosario, but before that, he gave a press conference in which he said:
"This injury happened because it had to happen. There were a lot of people saying outstanding things about it (Note: He is referring to some journalists saying he is injured more than other because of the medical treatment he did when he had problems to grow)."
Here's to a recovery as good and as fast as him!
DEMICHELIS, A VICTIM OF AUTHORITARIANISM IN MUNICH
I was strike by this news. Bayern Munich manager, Ottmar Hitzfeld, have decided to suspend Argentine Martín DEMICHELIS because the player publicly expressed his desire to play as a central defender rather than being employed in midfield.
What were Hitzfeld reasons behind this action taken against Micho?
“I was left with no other choice but to leave Martin out of the Cottbus squad and suspend him until further notice from training”.
“A player cannot dictate which position he plays in. We are not a request show”.
“It is not a problem for Bayern Munich, it is a problem between Martin Demichelis and me”
Here's what the former River Plate defender said:
“My heart beats for Bayern Munich and I feel like a son of the club. I would like to apologise to my fans for this action and I do not wish to criticise Ottmar Hitzfeld”
“But I am a first-choice with the Argentine national team and I want to play in my preferred position here.”So that's how it's going to be. I'm shocked! No freedom at all. DEMICHELIS is not entitled to express his desire as to which is his favorite position. I'm speechless.
This is coming from a club that have openly said: "We will not release our players for the Olympics".
DEMICHELIS is on the right track. Not so long ago he said: "If Bayern doesn't free me for the Olympics, I'll runaway! I'll do anything to play for Argentina"
Mundo Albiceleste supports Martín DEMICHELIS and José SOSA in their quest to get their freedom to play for Argentina in the Olympics. A chance that will come just once in their life-time.
HITZFELD, you are PERSONA NON-GRATA for Mundo Albiceleste. Do I have the liberty to say it? Come and suspend me if you can!