Tuesday, August 04, 2009

MARADONA to call up ORTEGA for "Argentina B"

It's a surprising announcement but one that has a clear message behind.

Speaking to Radio Mitre in Argentina, MARADONA said that he plans to call up Ariel ORTEGA, Argentina's talented creative midfielder in the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups, for the friendly that our national team will play against New Zealand or Mexico (rival to be confirmed) at the end of September in Cordoba, Argentina.

We all know Ariel ORTEGA has been struggling with alcohol problems in the past few years, but he has returned to River Plate now and he scored a great goal against Everton in a friendly match recently.

This doesn't mean that El Burrito will be making a definite comeback to Argentina and that he will be on Diego's plans for South Africa 2010. The way I see it, Diego wants to help Ariel to keep his mind in the right place and to keep him motivated.

The experiment of playing with a domestic national team (or an 'Argentina B' if you like), gives MARADONA some room for this kind of call-up. ORTEGA will surely help draw a bigger crowd in Cordoba and the fact that Diego already said he'll also name Martín PALERMO for that friendly, is another indication that MARADONA wants a combination of promising young prospects (like DEFEDERICO or OTAMENDI, with very popular figures such as ORTEGA and PALERMO).

MARADONA will also give River Plate fans something to keep them off his back and perhaps ORTEGA will have some sort of testimonial for all the exciting times and amazing memories he gave every Argentina fan over the years. Like some of these...


Mohd said...

this is giving me a headache. for god's sake maradona should care more about tactics and managing the team instead of playing "mind" games and being a smart ass about it.

although i like your analysis of the callup...

Anonymous said...

Looks like Diego is looking for a drinking buddy and not a player. Hey lets call Claudio Lopez, Marcelo Gallardo, and players from the past. B team or not, this should not be happening. B team should be a bunch of talented kids put together to see what they can do.


Sebastian said...

Sadly, Jack, I'm getting to a point in which I'm giving up trying to have a conversation that includes MARADONA.

You are a MARADONA hater and it doesn't matter whether he wins the World Cup or not, you'll always find something bad to say about Diego.

I can't change that. So I won't argue with you anymore.

And this is coming from someone who appreciates what MARADONA did for Argentina but is not a blind fan of his that will forgive him anything he does. You will find people like that, but I'm not one of them.

I will be very critical of him whenever I see there's something he is doing wrong.

One of your latest comments in a previous post was VERY offensive to MARADONA and I think it was out of order to bring up his past problems with drugs.

If anything, being a confessed drug addict and having what it takes to overcome such a horrible thing, makes Diego better in my book.

He said it himself: "I made a mistake and I paid for it" and "can you imagine the kind of player I would have been if I didn't have my problems with drugs?".

I don't know, but I don't think you'll be judging a rock star based on whether they do cocaine or not. If that was the case, I imagine you have a very reduced number of favourite musicians!

Please, don't take this as if I'm fighting with you or anything. I'm just expressing myself here and I'm just trying to get a point across.

Regarding the domestic national team, I think it's a good idea to keep playing those kinds of games. Mainly for two reasons:

1. Young players get to feel what it's like to wear the Albiceleste.

2. Fans in the provinces get to watch at least a version of our national team first hand.

Due to the current state of our local league, however, it's not very easy to field an entire starting XI (let alone a full squad) with players that are going to be worthy of a full international cap.

Therefore, if you can get the handful of potential internationals (like OTAMENDI -already a reality-, DEFEDERICO, Sebastián BLANCO, Eduardo SALVIO) a proper taste of international football, surrounded by experience players such as ORTEGA, VERON or PALERMO, I think that is a good idea. ORTEGA and VERON have lots of experience at World Cups and they could pass along some of that to the younger generation.

And because everything is moved by money, if you can get a big River Plate star (ORTEGA) and a big Boca Juniors star (PALERMO), you get yourself a full house wherever you play in the country.

Sebastian said...

Also, those friendlies we play at home (with players that are almost completely different to those we use for the WCQ) shouldn't be considered as opportunities to test your system or your favourite lineups.

You can't have MESSI for those matches. You can't have MASCHERANO.

It's impossible to replicate a system that you can use with those two and the group of players that come from the European leagues for every WCQ game.

It's a whole different thing we're talking about and if anything, it should work as a sort of 'audition' for the young prospects and for us and our manager to see if one or some of them are ready to take the next step.

As long as Diego doesn't bring ORTEGA or PALERMO to the WCQ, I'll be fine.

Now if he do call them for the WCQ, don't worry, I'll be the first one to criticize him.

Anonymous said...

Seba, you assume that I am a Maradona hater. Did I ever once mention anything bad about Diego when he was NOT our coach? I have read many many books about him and as a player he was a legend, as a person not so much. Now as a coach he is doing harm to the national team.

Hey if Diego as a coach gets us a 3rd star I will be the first to say I was wrong. I can swallow my pride and say you know what Diego knew what he was doing. But so far from what I have seen and majority of the fans Diego is a FAILURE as a coach. Seba the team we have now do you really believe we can win a WC with the squads we have seen in the last WCQ's? Or are missing pieces of the puzzle that can help the team.

You state "I don't know, but I don't think you'll be judging a rock star based on whether they do cocaine or not. If that was the case, I imagine you have a very reduced number of favourite musicians!"

No, a rockstar is not in charge of something that I love.

You stated what I said about Maradona was very offensive. Did I say anything that was not true? Again as a player I would defend Diego as the greatest till the cows come home. My point is from all the drugs he has done has effected his life and brain. Ask any doctor in the world, if somebody has done that much damage to their body and brain it would effect their choices. Being on drugs and other substances for nearly half your life will take the toll. Considering Diego has been sober for 5 years (As far as we know) that changes nothing. A addict has a higher chance of relapsing then staying sober, considering the amount of stress he is on will also take that % higher.

Do I want Diego to success as a coach? yes, do I want him to even more in life and get his act together even more Seba. BUT! I do not think at the cost of our national team, it is not good for him nor the team. This is not the right time for it.


sirus said...

I think next year Mara will win world cup or will fail in group stage...

Forza_albicelestes said...

Does this mean I Might get see Batigol again?????

Sebastian said...

Forza_Albicelestes: I'm sorry to be the one to tell you, but I recently heard BATISTUTA in an interview and he said his ankles are so damaged that he can't even play with his kids in his backyard.

If you're into polo, then you may get a chance to see him as he plans on playing for a newly formed polo team of Boca Juniors.

Anonymous said...

Ortega? the second match i have ever seen of Argentina was the match against holland at the 1998 wc. i still can't believe he did his headbutt (though it was more a hairbutt). this gave holland confidence and they striked only a minute after his red card.

I think Ortega is/was the kind of player that is really good and has a lot of skills, but is not world class. he couldn't really make the difference in big games. that was my impression about him after the games against england and holland in wc 1998. my fear is that tevez is also the same category, though i like him very much.

Vitalij from Germany

Mike (Canada) said...

How did I know the "headbutt" would come up. I still remember when he did that. Very bad move.

Forza_albicelestes said...

I would never say that Tevez is similar to ortega...
Instead Tevez actually turns up in the big games...He is actially one of the few big game players we have....
Remember MAN U last season....
For me tevez won them the treble with his vital goals........

BTW Seba..........Thnx for the info.....didnt know Batigol's knee was so damaged.....
Any info on what happened?????Did he have an accident or something?

Sebastian said...

Forza, it's Bati's ankles, not knees.

He said he struggle throughout his entire career with minor knocks.

He also said many times he would play through pain or get a shot to numb that injured part and get to the field.

He thinks that had its toll in the long run, but he also said he would do that again if he was asked to play for Argentina or the clubs he represented.


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