Friday, March 14, 2008

Mundo Albiceleste reveals preview of Olympic list

Every olympic national team manager will have to submit a provisional list of 35-40 players to the IOC (International Olympic Committee).

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.

My thoughts?

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?


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!


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!


progott said...

you're doing a great job mate. I'm really happy i found your blog.

Seba said...

Thank you, progott.

John and I really love doing this blog and we would like to dedicate more time than we do to it. But we are quite happy with the results and all the positive feedback we are getting.

Thanks again,

Roy said...

I LOVE the list. But one problem. I know I said Cruz deserves a final chance in the NT(and I think he might get it versus Egypt), but I think it's a slap in the face to Crespo. A player that's been with the NT since 1998(if I'm not mistaken). He's been with the team through the good and bad, yet he doesn't get a chance to play in the Olympics.

One other thing(and I just doubled checked to make sure I wasn't mistaken). Mascherano played in the 2004 Olympics. Shouldn't someone else get that opportunity? Don't get me wrong, I love Mascherano, but he's already won that tournament. Question is, who would replace him? Other than that, no problem at all.:)

Seba said...

Good points, Roy.

But let's face it, MASCHE is irreplaceable. Period. BATISTA won't take into consideration the fact that MASCHE is an Olympic champion. The reality is that you can't take MASCHE out of the team as he runs for 2 or 3 team-mates! haha!

Agree with you regarding CRESPO. Have in mind, however, that CRUZ is highly unlikely to go to Beijing. He is just listed as an emergency back-up. I don't know this as a fact, but I believe he is the third of the three back-ups.

It's easy to say and to see, that our strength lies in our attack and we are going to be just fine even without a senior striker.

John said...

I would certainly agree that BATISTA is doing a great job and I like his preferred choice of over age players.

About the senior striker, I would have preferred to see Fernando CAVENAGHI name on that list.

I think playing at the Olympic will be great motivation for him on his quest to fulfill his prophecy. The best striker we had since Batigol.

I'm not so sure about bringing Emiliano INSUA and Franco DI SANTO as they have not been playing regular club football.

What about Lucas BIGLIA? Is he out of the radar these days?

I'm pretty surprise with Ottmar HITZFELD's decision as I always felt he was one of the most calmness coach in the World. But don't worry about Martin & Jose as he wont be there next season :-)

Anonymous said...

Great article Seba! I agree, I really want to see Di Santo play.

Looks like Liverpool's Bruna signed a deal and he is out of Real Madrid for good. Some tip him to be another Messi(Maradona that is, but we all know that track record lol). But I dont think he has decided whom he liked to play for, Argentina or Spain. Not too many players just on Spain's wagon, but I hate it when they hunt down our players like SNAKES!

Now it is about 2AM in Los Angeles right now. I just got back a hour ago or so called it a night early. I went on youtube and I think I have found something that ALL of us will want to see. Has your father or uncle or older brothers ever tell you about some games that you missed because you were either too young or not even born to watch? Fear no more fellas! I found somebody that has about 80 FULL matches from MANY MANY MANY great games, he has the full match when Argentina played Holland in 78, West Germany in 86 and so many other great games. Has modern games as well. I was watching Argentina vs Brasil from the 1990 WC and what a game it was, I was 6 during that game but I somewhat recall but did not really know what was going on, considering a 6year old attention span ends when they see something shiney haha. Well here is the link. Enjoy fellas.!