Friday, January 29, 2010

CRESPO returns to Parma + one little rant from me!

After failing to settle in as their first choice striker at Genoa, Hernán CRESPO has left the club and joined Parma.

Only 5 goals in 16 appearances for Genoa is certainly not something to write home about. CRESPO will now try to rediscover his goalscoring form at a club for which he scored 61 goals in 116 matches between 1996 and 2000.

I love CRESPO to bits, but I think his days with the national team are over (and if they are not over, they should be).

Not because he lost his abilities (I'm confident he can still deliver the goods), but because there are other players who are far superior right now.

I don't like the way the media insists that this move for CRESPO could result in more playing time and a chance for him to be recalled to the national team.

As I have always said in this space, it is more important to have a past with Boca Juniors or River Plate than to achieve big things and break all kinds of records elsewhere.

Having Martín PALERMO still pretty much in the radar for the national team is testament to this.

To go to a World Cup, it is believed that the 23 names should or would or could be divided like this: 2/3 goalkeepers; 6/7 defenders; 6/7 midfielders; 6/7 forwards.

Since we are speaking about forwards, we have to consider the following: MARADONA will bring MESSI, AGÜERO and TEVEZ. That's an absolute certainty the way I see it. That leaves room for other forwards but not all of them can be out and out strikers (in the mould of BATISTUTA or CRESPO).

The way I see it (and I defy any of you to challenge me with stats and facts), there are better options to CRESPO or PALERMO. I honestly think both should miss out on our World Cup squad.

I know MARADONA is in love with LAVEZZI so I'm pencilling him there.

Our two strikers should then be Diego MILITO (my first choice) and Gonzalo HIGUAIN.

I would also bring Lisandro LOPEZ because he gives you a lot of options, but he won't be going to South Africa because he had an argument with MARADONA and that's it. How else do you explain his exclusion after he scored with his first touch against Russia?

I know we have played this game here on Mundo in recent weeks (though I was very busy at that time and couldn't participate). I know you all have spoken your minds, but I had to talk a little bit about this and I have to reiterate how incredible afraid I am that Diego MARADONA will leave Diego MILITO out of our World Cup squad.

He is absolutely capable of doing that and include one Martín PALERMO that couldn't even record a shot on target at home against a Costa Rican side full of second-stringers.

In the near future we will continue to play around with names (we've got 94 players to choose from in this MARADONA era!) and we will continue to speculate on who's going to travel to South Africa in our quest to win the World Cup and who's going to be left out by a manager that in a perfect world shouldn't be anywhere near our national team (with that job).

Thursday, January 28, 2010

AYALA to return to the Argentine local league?

We still miss him in the heart of our defence with the national team. He is 36 now and he already announced he won't be coming back with Argentina. But Roberto Fabián AYALA is making the news in my country lately as he is reportedly about to sign a contract with (non-other than my favourite team) Racing Club.

Out of contract with Real Zaragoza, AYALA attracted the interested of as many as four of the five big teams from Argentina. Boca Juniors, River Plate, Independiente and Racing Club are all looking forward to have one of Argentina's most capped players in the history of our national team.

It appears Racing Club are the ones with the upper hand and this matter will be resolved in a matter of days (if not hours). He will apparently sign a one-year loan deal and would work together with BIELSA's old assistant coach Claudio VIVAS (now manager of Racing Club).

We'll see how it goes and I'll let you know as soon as there are some news about it. I can't hide how happy I'd be if Racing get to sign a player like AYALA!

In other news...

Fernando CACERES is on his way to a full recovery after being shot in the head on 1 November, 2009.

The former Argentina international has spoken to a Spanish radio for the first time after the incident and he sounded great. He even said he wants to be a manager and start working soon.

"I'm getting better every day. I'm starting all over again" said CACERES "To be honest, I don't understand how I made it through after what happened".

I don't know if you heard about this but Paraguay and América de México striker, Salvador CABAÑAS, suffered an accident of more or less the same nature as he too was shot in the head in Mexico City.

CABAÑAS, who is still in intensive care, received a letter of support from Fernando CACERES.

In that letter, CACERES said: "I know exactly what you're going through right now, as something very similar happened to me. However, 86 days after that horrible episode, I'm writing this from a hospital where, thanks to God, I'm getting better each day".

"Fight. Fight with all your strenght. It's possible and miracles do exist. You are going to make it: fight, fight and don't you ever give up"

"I hope we can have a conversation soon, so we can remember these episodes as difficult tests that were presented in our lives. A big hug and all the strength in the world from me to you".

I can't express how happy I am for Fernando to pull out this miracle and for him to show his support to CABAÑAS. It speaks volumes of the kind of person he is.

Here's hoping CABAÑAS makes it through this horrible moment. All of Mundo Albiceleste is 100% with him.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

MARADONA confirms 3 names for South Africa

Following the friendly against Costa Rica on Tuesday, Diego MARADONA came out and confirmed 3 names out of his list of 23 for the World Cup. The captain, Javier MASCHERANO is one of them. The other, Lionel MESSI. The third? None-other than Juan Sebastian VERON. The news doesn't exactly come as a surprise, but Diego has confirmed them none-the-less.

However, the news doesn't end there. "I've already got some names in my head that I regard as certains, but whether they go or not will depend on their form, whether they're playing for their clubs or not," said Diego. In my opinion, that sentence was aimed towards Fernando GAGO and Maxi RODRIGUEZ.

Diego said that he "already decided 60 percent of the squad" that will go to South Africa. According to Clarin, there are 10 other players that Diego has already picked in his head for the World Cup. Sergio ROMERO, Mariano ANDUJAR, Gabriel HEINZE, Martin DEMICHELIS, Nicolas OTAMENDI, Jonas GUTIERREZ, Angel DI MARIA, Gonzalo HIGUAIN, Sergio AGUERO and Carlos TEVEZ. Note that the 10 players mentioned have not been confirmed by Diego, as opposed to MASCHERANO, MESSI and VERON who were confirmed.

MARADONA also spoke out on the subject of calling up 94 players. His response? "Whatever anyone says, I'll keep trying". In short? Expect alot more players to get called-up. So far, Diego has called-up enough players to field 4 full squads of 23 players or 8 different Starting XI's, whichever you prefer.

We have a friendly against Jamaica next month and we'll likely see a set of new players for that match as well. I wouldn't be surprised if by the Germany friendly in March Diego will have surpassed 100.

"Costa Rica se parecía a Alemania" -MARADONA

Translation? "Costa Rica was like Germany." Those were the exact words coming out of Diego MARADONA's mouth following our victory over Costa Rica. As for the players who impressed Diego during the Costa Rica match? Clemente RODRIGUEZ, Jose SOSA, Walter ERVITI, Juan MERCIER and Nicolas GAITAN.

I'll be honest, I didn't watch the match. I just watched the highlights, but what he said was just ridiculous. The fact that this man is still our National Team coach boggles my mind. The way our team has free fallen since 2006 is beyond sad. I don't want to turn this into a rant, I just thought I would post what Diego said after the match.

Argentina 3-2 Costa Rica - Match Highlights

Argentina vs. Costa Rica - Player Ratings by Dave P

So a pretty much pointless game because realistically I feel that only 3 of the players that played today have a chance of making the WC squad. But it is always good to see the Albiceleste suit up and compete for a match. Over all an exciting match that was back and forth the entire time. This was mostly because our defense was completely unorganized and was out of position the majority of the game. There was some good individual play as well as good counter
attacks that flowed well, but in the end lacked a finishing touch. Like most other games our two major problems reared their heads; lack of defensive confidence/organization as well as distribution from the midfield up to our strikers. A good 3-2 victory with Sosa, Burdisso, and Jara getting our goles. Of the three, one was off a deflected cross, another was off of a set play deflection, and the third came from the run of play and good build up. Anyway here are my player ratings for this so called “pointless match” I will make them brief.

CAMPESTRINI 3: Very poor performance throughout, sloppy handling and poor confidence. Both goles could have been saved. One good reaction to come off his line that saved us from tying.

Clemente RODRIGUEZ 4: Sub par performance by Clemente was able to get up and attack throughout the game but had poor distribution. Except for the one cross for our third gol from Jara. However, because he was pushing up all the time he was always out of position back tracking on defense. Not sure if his performance earned him a recall when the more serious games are played, I would not call him.

MATHEU N/A (started but subbed out in the 3rd min) Caruzzo 2: poor performance on every gol that was scored he was out of position and was beat far too easily. If Costa Rica was better at finishing then we could have lost easily 6-3. Very reckless fouls through out

BURDISSO 4: Decent positioning throughout the match and was the better of the two center backs. Showed his aerial prowess in this game. However, was caught way out of position in the second gol. Good reactions to score our second gol.

MONZON 5.5: One of the better players for us all night. Very solid in defense and confident on the ball when pushing up to attack. If any defenders deserve to get another look Monzon is the one after tonight’s match.

SOSA 6.5: Other than Monzon, Sosa was our best player on the night great attacking runs down the wing and distribution. Great first gol to guide his header into the opening in the net. Was nifty on the ball and able to get around defenders to create space. Worth another look for the NT.

MERCIER 5: Good performance by the defensive midfielder was able to keep Costa Rica at bay and alleviate some pressure on our terrible CBs. Very basic work and did not distribute well but played hard.

ERVITI 2: Did very little with his one half of playtime. Sloppy on the ball and failed to get involved in the attack at all.

GAITAIN 4.5: Played well in his first half of play and had a few flashed of positive distribution. Definitely has talent that has to be perfected before he can play for the NT in WC matches. But showed good ideas and passing throughout his time on the pitch

HAUCHE 6: Great work/hustle all night. Reminded me of Tevez’s and Lavezzi’s work rate. Ran hard with his time on the pitch and was great down the line looking to play balls into the box. Possibly worth another look, however, with our attacking options will not be on the NT this summer.

PALERMO 0: Really only touched the ball 3 or 4 times all game. Ran, I mean jogged around aimlessly and had not a clue what was going on all game. I am not being harsh on him this is exactly what happened.


Enzo PEREZ 4: Did not really get involved until the end of the match when he mad a great run to set up Clemente in the box. Decent movement but on the whole, sloppy passes when on the ball.

INSUA 5.5: Came in at half time and played well. Ran the attack all second half and looked comfortable running at players and looking to get our attackers in on gol.

JARA 5.5: Came on and his first touch was in on gol however he cut outside instead of inside and was pushed out of bounds. As the game went on continued to work hard and finding openings in the defense. Took his winning strike calmly and shows promise as a finisher. I just can’t see him being in Africa this summer with all our other talented strikers.



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

PALERMO to captain versus Costa Rica

This might come as no surprise, but Martin PALERMO will captain Argentina tonight as they face Costa Rica. According to reports in the media, here's the possible starting line-up.

Guillermo BURDISSO
Nicolás GAITÁN
Gabriel HAUCHE

The match is tonight at 7:00PM Eastern, 9:00PM Buenos Aires time.

Monday, January 25, 2010

MILITO scores in derby, DI MARIA goal

In what has made Seba extremely happy, El Principe scored the first of 2 goals for Inter in the Milan derby. After receiving a cross, MILITO kept his cool and calmly put it past the goalkeeper. Walter SAMUEL, Javier ZANETTI and Esteban CAMBIASSO also took part in the match.

Moving to Portugal, DI MARIA scored the game winner for his team in a 2-1 victory over Rio Ave. Somewhat similar to MILITO's goal, DI MARIA receives a low cross, controls it and puts it past the goalkeeper. For DI MARIA's goal:

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Lionel MESSI has scored yet another goal for Barcelona. This time his 102nd overall for the club in their 3-0 victory over Real Valladolid. For MESSI's goal,

Fernando CAVENAGHI, who's name we haven't mentioned here on Mundo in quiet a while, scored a hattrick for Bordeaux, in their 5-1 thrashing of Ajaccio in the French Cup. One of them off a rocket free kick(BATISTUTA like) and the last one a predator finish(again, BATIGOL like).

For some Sunday news, both Rodrigo PALACIO and Hernan CRESPO scored for Genoa in their 2-0 victory over Atalanta. PALACIO's goal came after a beautiful chip over the goalkeeper to make it 1-0. Speaking of BATIGOL and a predator finish, CRESPO's goal came off a fantastic header to give Genoa the 2-0 victory.

For PALACIO's goal,

For CRESPO's goal,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How much would you pay for TEVEZ now, Sir Alex?

"TEVEZ is not worth the 25.5 million Pounds price" said Sir Alex FERGUSON in the pre-season.

"FERGUSON never offered me a contract until it was too late" said TEVEZ before the Scottish Manchester United manager decided that the Apache was a surplus to his needs at Old Trafford.

Well...halfway through the semifinal series of the Carling Cup (the League Cup) in England, TEVEZ has scored two more goals than ROONEY, BERBATOV and OWEN combined.

Yes, FERGUSON can still have the last laugh when the two teams meet in the second leg at Old Trafford, but in the meantime and with 13 goals scored in the last 11 matches, the best player of the month (December) in the Premier League, Carlos TEVEZ, appears to have the upper hand in this contest.

Ryan GIGGS had put United ahead with a tap-in from close range. Then Craig BELLAMY earned a very dubious penalty and Carlos TEVEZ gave VAN DER SAR no choice to level the score.

In the second half, TEVEZ decided it was time for another heroic act and gave City the win with a header in front of a helpless VAN DER SAR and the City of Manchester Stadium erupted like we've seen it erupt only a handful of times.

TEVEZ went for the same celebration he choose when he scored one of his last goals for United (against City, of all teams). He was in the middle of a battle with FERGUSON and he showed the manager that the fans were singing for him. That's what he did on Tuesday night.

Only this time he added another gesture (like trying to express with his hands that United players talked too much before the game) and we found out later that it was probably directed at Gary NEVILLE.

The former England international, now a substitute for United, appears to have found a new career as a 'provocateur'. He has had problems for gesturing at Liverpool fans and now he gave TEVEZ the middle finger (as you can clearly see here):

Apart from watching these goals from TEVEZ and feel a sense of redemption for him in front of FERGUSON (remember TEVEZ was very criticized for leaving United and he was accused of going the only for the money when all the player did was to say he wasn't offered a contract by FERGUSON), I'm happy because I'm watching the same TEVEZ I watched at Boca Juniors, Corinthians, our Olympic team in 2004, the Copa America of Perú and some flashes at West Ham. Enough with his 'bulldog-like approach' like the FIFA10 commentator always says whenever his character gets the ball. I want to see the classy striker who can scare defenders with his talent and his goalscoring ability. Not only with his non-stop running and chasing.

TEVEZ is rediscovering his old form at City and his goalscoring record is proof to that.

All we need is for him to find his best version with the Albiceleste now.

Here's TEVEZ showing he's not afraid of defenders and goalkeepers:

And here's Carlitos in front of his most feared rival: the microphone!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Latest list includes 8 new players

And the question is: how many more will Diego MARADONA call up before he has to announce the World Cup Squad?

Argentina will play Costa Rica (26 January) and our manager has announced a list containing 18 players from the domestic league.

Is he really giving all these players he's calling up a decent chance to showcase themselves?

Do you want numbers?

MARADONA has called up a total of 92 players in 14 months since he took over as Argentina manager. Ninety-two. N-I-N-E-T-Y-T-W-O. Noventa y dos! 92!

Out of those 18 he already named to face Costa Rica, eight will be making their debut under MARADONA:

Here are their names, teams they play for and a little info:

Nelson IBAÑEZ (Godoy Cruz) - goalkeeper. Haven't seen much of him to be honest. And I don't think he'll be anywhere near our World Cup squad.

Clemente RODRIGUEZ (Estudiantes de La Plata) - left-back. Already played for Argentina in the past and did a great job facing Barcelona in the Club World Cup.

Guillermo BURDISSO (Rosario Central) - commanding centre-back. Younger brother of Nicolás, who plays for Inter. Good in the air. Solid in defence. In my opinion, a little too early for him to be called up for Argentina.

Jonathan CRISTALDO (Velez Sarsfield) - speedy winger. One for the future.

Gastón DIAZ (Velez Sarsfield) - right-back. Nothing too spectacular about him. The most notorious news from him was when he got involved in a car crash after he drank a little too much celebrating Velez's title.

Franco RAZZOTTI (Velez Sarsfield) - midfielder. Hard-tackling commanding central midfielder.

Walter ERVITI (Banfield) - midfielder. All-around midfielder (can create and can contain). Plays on the left hand side of the field. His talent helped Banfield claim their first local league title in 113 years of history in 2009.

Carlos MATHEU (Independiente) - central defender. Not world class. Good enough to play in the local league, but came back from Europe (Cagliari) after only playing in 15 matches.

The rest of the list:

Matías CARUZZO (Argentinos Juniors)
Gabriel HAUCHE (Argentinos Juniors -on his way to Racing Club?-)
Cristian CAMPESTRINI (Arsenal de Sarandí)
Fabián MONZÓN (Boca Juniors)
Federico INSUA (Boca Juniors)
Martín PALERMO (Boca Juniors)
Nicolás GAITÁN (Boca Juniors)
Enzo PEREZ (Estudiantes de La Plata)
Mauro BOSELLI (Estudiantes de La Plata)
Mario BOLATTI (Huracán / now of Fiorentina)

I guess it will be meaningless to watch that friendly against Costa Rica as I doubt even a tiny 10% of that list will get a new call from Diego in the future.

Not that I used to believe Diego was biased, but you see four (4) Boca footballers there (even when Boca are hardly being successful in recent times) and no River Plate players there.

To be honest...I don't think that's too relevant and if it was, it surely takes the back seat if you compare that with the fact that 92 players have been called up in only 14 months.

Will our World Cup squad be selected by running a lottery system? Or is it depending on how Diego wakes up on the day he has to announce it?


Fairly good weekend for Albiceleste players. On Friday, it was Martin DEMICHELIS who scored from close range for Bayern Munich in their 2-0 victory over Hoffenheim(I can't seem to find a video of the goal).

On Saturday, it was FIFA World Player of Year, Lionel MESSI who scored twice for Barcelona in their 4-0 thrashing over Sevilla. His first goal was his 100th goal for Barcelona, making him the youngest Barcelona player ever, at 22 to reach 100 goals for the club. His second of the night was his 101st goal.

On Sunday, Ever BANEGA scored his first goal for Valencia as they defeated Villarreal 4-1. He received the ball from outside the box and just blasted it into the top corner.

In Portugal, SAVIOLA continued his great form as he scored the first goal of the night for Benfica in their 5-0 victory over Maritimo Funchal. His goal came from close range off a header.

Don't forget to vote for your top 3 goalkeepers at "Debate 4: Pick your goalkeepers"!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Debate 4: Pick your goalkeepers

Thank you to everyone who has voted so far. We have now reached the final position: Goalkeepers. Everyone on the list has atleast been in one of Diego's squads or has played for the NT at one point in their careers. I haven't received Seba or John's votes yet for the defenders, but here are my votes:

Marcos ANGELERI, Nicolas BURDISSO, Martin DEMICHELIS, Ezequiel GARAY, Emiliano INSUA, Walter SAMUEL, Javier ZANETTI.

My back-up to ANGELERI(pending on how he does when he comes back from injury), is Gabriel HEINZE. Before anyone kills me for that vote, it's merely because no matter how he does from now until May, he will be picked regardless of his form(or even an injury) and his form for Marseille at the moment is the best form he's been in since he first joined Real Madrid.

For this one, you can only pick 3 goalkeepers. As a reminder, the three goalkeepers picked by Jose PEKERMAN in 2006 for the World Cup were: Roberto ABBONDANZIERI(starting goalkeeper), LEO FRANCO(second choice goalkeeper, played versus Germany), Oscar USTARI(didn't play a minute, however, won gold at the 2008 Olympics). Diego's starting goalkeeper since the Paraguay match in September(excluding un-official friendly's) has been Sergio ROMERO.

Damian ALBIL
Juan Pablo CARRIZO
Diego POZO
Federico VILAR

We will be revealing the results for all the positions sometime this week.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The fixture rumors continue

A few days ago it was confirmed that Argentina would take on Costa Rica later on this month and Jamaica next month, before facing Germany in Munich on March the 3rd. But it doesn't end there. is now reporting that Argentina will take on Canada at the Monumental on May 25. Four days later, Argentina will host Israel on May 29. The match against Israel would be on the 29th, but has Argentina taking on Ghana on May 29. However, according to the article, the matches in Europe have been axed(the Ghana friendly was supposed to take place in London) and will be played in Argentina. The Canada and Israel fixtures have not been confirmed and might not be for a while but if they are true, here are our next matches.

Argentina vs. Costa Rica
Tuesday, January 26, 2010.

Argentina vs. Jamaica
Wednesday, February 10, 2010.

Germany vs. Argentina
Wednesday, March 3, 2010.

Argentina vs. Canada
Tuesday, May 25, 2010.

Argentina vs. Israel
Saturday, May 29, 2010.

The Israel match has been rumored for the longest time now, since it's a "Bilardo tradition" so to speak to take on Israel before the World Cup. Which is why(in my opinion), we will probably face Israel instead of Ghana.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Debate 3: Pick your defenders

Again, thank you everyone for voting for the midfielders. We only have 2 categories left. The pick your defenders and pick your goalkeepers. I haven't spoken to John, so I haven't received his votes yet for the midfielders, but here are my votes:


Two wingers in DI MARIA and PEROTTI(I would pick MAXI, but his form is horrible), two/three DM's in CAMBIASSO, MASCHERANO and BANEGA(depending on how you use Ever) and two playmakers in AIMAR and LUCHO. For me, BANEGA is a useful player to have, much like PIRLO. Very useful on a team if used properly. But enough with my list, it's time to pick the defenders!

Just like the midfielders, you can pick 7 defenders. We decided on 6 strikers, 7 midfielders, 7 defenders and 3 goalkeepers.

Cristian ALVAREZ
Cristian ANSALDI
Daniel DIAZ
Fedrico FAZIO
Ezequiel GARAY
Gabriel HEINZE
Emiliano INSUA
Gabriel MILITO
Emiliano PAPA
Nicolas PAREJA

You know how it works by now!

Costa Rica and Jamaica the next matches

Two new fixtures have been line-up for Argentina. The first one against Costa Rica in Cordoba, Argentina on January 26. The second against 1998 group stage rivals, Jamaica, on February 10 in Mar Del Plata. The big question is whether the list will only consist of domestic based players or not.

Usually, if the fixtures are announced and on the website, than the clubs must release their players. However, seeing as how both matches are being played in Argentina and not in Europe, I doubt MARADONA will call-up European based players. That's my personnal guess. Here are our next 3 matches:

Argentina vs. Costa Rica
Tuesday, January 26, 2010.

Argentina vs. Jamaica
Wednesday, February 10, 2010.

Germany vs. Argentina
Wednesday, March 3, 2010.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

TEVEZ the Hat-trick Hero Against Rovers

Less then 24 hours after Lionel MESSI opened his account for 2010 with a hat trick, Carlos TEVEZ answered with one of his own as Manchester City outclassed Blackburn Rovers 4-1.

Not bad way to kick off the New Year in style as prior to this Carlitos was already on hot streak with eight goals last month. In recognition of his consistency for the month of December, he was awarded Barclay Premier League player of the month before the kick off.

Little did he know the night turned out to be a double celebration for him as his goals elevated Roberto MANCINI to fourth successive victory; Thus taking them into the top four of the standings.

For Carlitos, this hat trick takes his goals scoring tally to 15 goals this campaign. I’m thinking maybe he wants your vote as one of the striker to pick for South Africa.

And don’t forget to keep your votes coming for the
“Pick Your Midfielders”

Monday, January 11, 2010

MESSI Says Hola To 2010 With A Hat-Trick

Lionel MESSI kick offs 2010 the same he did it in 2009, scoring a hat trick on his first match of the year. On top of that, he also made another as Barcelona completed the night with a 5-0 over Tenerife.

His first two goals were clinical finishing made easier for him after some good work from Bojan KRKIC but it was his third goal that was simply sublime. Again Bojan, miscontrolled slightly on the edge of the area, forcing him to lay the ball back to Lionel, who then chipped the ball into the far corner with goalkeeper Sergio ARAGONESES barely off his line.

Gonzalo HIGUAIN was also on target for Real Madrid in their 2-0 win against Real Mallorca. Meanwhile in Italy, German DENIS was the hero for Napoli scoring in their 1-0 win over Sampdoria. Still in Serie A, Jose Ignacio CASTILLO scored Fiorentina winning goal against Bari but was sent off 5 minutes later.

In the lesser know Greek League, Ignacio SCOCCO, Ismael BLANCO (both for AEK Athens) and Emanuel PERRONE (twice for Atromitos) as their respective ended their match in thrilling 3-3 draw. Lastly Mauro MILANO was on target for his side Iraklis in their 2-4 defeat to Aris Salonika.

And don’t forget to keep your votes coming for our “Pick Your Midfielder” as we are already getting plenty of interesting selections. Thanks for your participation.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Debate 2: Pick your midfielders

I would like to thank everyone who voted for the "Pick your strikers" debate. I'll be honest, I didn't expect that many votes. Thank you everyone! John and I didn't post our votes yet, so here they are.

John: Diego MILITO, Gonzalo HIGUAIN, Lionel MESSI, Carlos TEVEZ, Sergio AGUERO and Hernan CRESPO.

Roy: Sergio AGUERO, Gonzalo HIGUAIN, Lisandro LOPEZ, Lionel MESSI, Diego MILITO and Carlos TEVEZ.

I haven't spoken to Seba yet, but I imagine it would be something like this:

Seba: Diego MILITO, Diego MILITO, Diego MILITO, Diego MILITO, Diego MILITO and Diego MILITO.

It's time for the midfielders! Obviously this list has alot more players, so instead of picking 6 midfielders, you can pick 7 midfielders. We decided on 6 strikers, 7 midfielders, 7 defenders and 3 goalkeepers. Before I begin:

NOTE: I decided to include Alejandro DOMINGUEZ in the midfielders list instead of the strikers, even if he is more of a striker than a midfielder. Also, I did NOT including RIQUELME for obviousy reasons. It doesn't matter if RIQUELME gets a vote from everyone here who votes, he will not be included in the final list. This list might have a few surprises, but I wanted to try and include as many as I could without forgetting anyone. Some have only been capped once, some haven't been capped in a while, but I tried to get as many in there as possible. Again, you can pick SEVEN(7) players from this list.

Rodrigo BRANA
Fernando GAGO
Federico INSUA
Juan Sebastian VERON

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Inter Win’s 7 Goal Thriller, Thanks to MILITO & SAMUEL

It was top vs. bottom in the Italian Serie A as Internazionale came back from the dead to beat Siena 4-3 and extended their lead in the league standings.

Six minutes after Siena took the lead, Wesley SNEIJDER found Diego MILITO with a lofted ball and the striker made space for himself on the left of the area before rifling a right-foot shot into the far corner. But just as the match looked heading to a 3-3 draw, Walter SAMUEL turned out to be the real hero for the Nerazzuri when he scored Inter’s winner in injury time.

Atlético Madrid trounced Valladolid 4-0 with Kun AGUERO coming in for Diego FORLAN in the second half scoring the last goal of the game. Kun, who has been a subject for a big move to Chelsea, controlled neatly and beat Justo VILLAR with a clinical left-footed drive.

Javier SAVIOLA's second-half goal led Benfica to a 1-0 victory over Rio Ave that kept it joint leader as the Portuguese league resumed on Saturday after a three-week break. The Rabbit was clear inside the area to score three minutes into the second half, and send Benfica to the top of the standings ahead of Braga only on goal difference.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Debate 1: Pick your strikers

Time to generate some debate, shall we?

One of the arguments about our team is who should start at the back, who should play in midfield and who should start up front. Most notibaly, as our number 9. Well, has this great article up which talks about our strikers.
(Thanks to GK for passing along the article, which pretty much inspired this post)

We have the usual suspects in Lionel MESSI, Gonzalo HIGUAIN, Sergio AGUERO and Carlos TEVEZ. But we also have other strikers. Some who have played at the big stage for us, like Javier SAVIOLA who's doing great at Benfica, others who are still making a name for themselves like Lucas BARRIOS at Borussia Dortmund and a veteran(though not a fan favorite here at Mundo) in Martin PALERMO. So let's break down the list.

Ezequiel LAVEZZI
Lisandro LOPEZ
Lionel MESSI
Carlos TEVEZ

In that list, we have a mix of experience, youth, speed and killer instincts. My question is, if the World Cup were to start next week and you were in charge of picking the strikers, who would you pick? Going by 2006, we had 6 strikers. Javier SAVIOLA, Hernan CRESPO, Carlos TEVEZ, Rodrigo PALACIO, Lionel MESSI and Julio CRUZ. Assuming everyone in that list is healthy, who would be your 6 strikers?

In your comments, please write something along the lines of FINAL LIST: (Insert names here), as I will be counting all the names and will post the final results later on. Depending on how successful this turns out to be, we'll have a "Pick your midfielders" debate sometime soon.

NOTE: The reason why I have not included the likes of Mauro ZARATE and Lucas BARRIOS is because they have not been capped yet by Argentina, there has been no mention of them by MARADONA. Chances are, if a player has not been capped yet by Diego, he won't make it to the World Cup.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

DELFINO: Plenty of Bucks from the Bench

Milwaukee Bucks swingman Carlos DELFINO provided plenty of fire power from the bench as his team defeated the New Jersey Nets, 98-76.

DELFINO, who had scored 10 points in the Bucks’ last five games, tallied 17 points as the Bucks won for only the fourth time in 15 road games. The game was the best in weeks for Carlos, who was 7 of 11 from the field with 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. He had only scored in double figures once in the past 10 games.

“I thought Carlos played with a lot of energy,” said Bucks coach Scott SKILES, who did not play DELFINO against Oklahoma City in their previous game. “He had active hands defensively, he got out in the open floor and he was hitting his shots. When he’s active like that, he’s a good enough player that things are going to happen for him.”

Another bench power of the night was Andres NOCIONI who posted 19 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block shot but his team was unable to avoid losing to the Phoenix Suns, 109-113.

Luis SCOLA also with big numbers as he posted 15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block shot but the Houston Rockets went down to the Los Angeles Lakers 79-88.

Back in the starting line up for the Washington Wizards was Fabricio OBERTO who posted just 2 points, 5 rebounds and 1 steal against Philadelphia 76ers. The Wizards won the game 194-97.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Maxi RODRIGUEZ Set For Anfield Move

It’s been the biggest speculated move during the January transfer window, and now it’s looks like an almost done deal. Maxi RODRIGUEZ's proposed move to Liverpool is one step closer and could be completed within the next 48 hours.

Despite other interests, which includes Juventus, Tottenham Hotspurs and also a move back to Argentina to join Boca Juniors, he is on the verge of a loan switch to Anfield after talking to fellow Argentine and National team captain Javier MASCHERANO.

The 29 years old Maxi has recently fallen out of favour at Atletico Madrid, and was left out by manager Quique Sanchez FLORES for Saturday's win over Sevilla, while Liverpool boss Rafael BENITEZ has long been desperate to add a quality wide midfielder to his side, without breaking the bank.

He is also seeking assurances about first-team opportunities from the national captain as he bids to secure a place in Diego MARADONA’s squad for this summer's World Cup in South Africa.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Argentina to face Ghana in May

News making rounds is that Argentina is set to face Ghana in a pre-World Cup friendly on May 29. If you'll remember, an Argentina team consisting of domestic based players defeated Ghana(consisting of domestic based players) back in September, 2-0. According to the reports, both countries have agreed in principle for the match to take place in London.

If the reports are true, then we would have 2 other friendly matches prior to the World Cup. The other 2 rumored countries are Israel and England. If you'll remember, Argentina had 2 friendly matches prior to the 2006 World Cup. The first against Croatia, where Argentina lost the match 3-2. Carlos TEVEZ scored and Lionel MESSI scored his first International goal. The second friendly against Angola where Argentina won the match 2-0, with goals from Maxi RODRIGUEZ and Argentina captain at the time, Juan SORIN.

A reminder that Argentina faces Germany in Munich on March 3.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Another Mundo’s Noughties Review - The Best Achiever’s of the Decade

Next up is another Mundo’s review from Noughties Years. This time I want to focus on the best achievements from the Albiceleste during those 10 years.

Before that here is something that I would like to share with everyone. I remember reading an article on World Soccer (somewhere around 1999-2000) which simple titled “Argentina is the future for the new decade”.

The article mentioned about that Argentina would win a World Cup in the new future based on the presents of Juan Sebastian VERON, Hernan CRESPO, Claudio LOPEZ and Ariel ORTEGA (who were all already established stars). They would also looked at some of the upcoming names such as Javier SAVIOLA, Pablo AIMAR and Roman RIQUELME. Well, you be the judge on how accurate that writer was.

Perhaps Argentina was the future in that decade but not just in football. The success they had in other sports had in some ways paved the way for so many possibilities. The impact was huge and the popularity of those sports accelerated to new level.

In the end it was decade of excellences for the Albiceleste. Now here is my pick on the 20 best achievers over the last decade, not in any particular order.

National Youth Team

The most consistent national football side. The Under-20 side will go on to owned the FIFA World Youth Cup after winning it on three different occasions (2001, 2005 & 2007). They would go on to produce many future superstars of the National Team.

Las Leonas

The best team of the decade. 1 World Cup, 2 Champions Trophy & 3 consecutive Olympic medals; during which they became a national sensation, with some of the players even appearing as models in advertising campaigns.


A winner of Super Bowl XXXVII with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the only Argentine ever to do so in the NFL. He was named as a NFC Pro Bowl member in 2001.


Apart from the National Team, he has won numerous titles for both team and individual in Italy (league and MVP), Europe (Euroleague and MVP) and the NBA (3 Championship ring, 6th Man title). One of the premier shooting guard of the decade.


Who can forget to epic All-Argentine final in Rolland Garros 2004? El Gato ended Argentina’s wait for a Grand Slam title since 1979 after coming back from two sets down to defeat Guillermo CORIA. Also a winner of 7 other ATP titles.

Olympic Football Team

The Under-23 side ended Argentina’s 52 years wait for an Olympic gold medal at the Athens game in 2004, subsequently defending it four years later in Beijing. But the real reason we love them because they achieved something that Brazil hasn’t for all these years.

Tall Albiceleste

The Golden Generation of Argentine basketball finally came together at the Athens games in 2004. After being a denied the World crown 2 years earlier, they made it sweeter this time by knocking out team USA in the semis and beating Italy in the final giving Argentina another gold medal in the 2004 Athens Game.


The face of Argentine tennis during the last decade. A winner of 10 ATP titles & 2 times Davis Cup runners up. Despite not having won any Grand Slams, he is one of only four active players to have achieved the semi-finals or better at all four events.

Blind Futsal Team

Vamos Los Murcielagos!!! They were Mundo’s best of the best in 2006 after winning the IBSA World Five a Side Football Championships, plus they have always been a consistent medal winner at the Summer Paralympics Games.


A winner of the US Open (2007) and the Augusta Master (2009) plus numerous titles in the PGA circuit. The best golfer from Latin America in my opinion.

Los Pumas

Throughout the decade Los Pumas we’re going from strength to strength in the IRB World Rankings; the pinnacle being their fourth place finish at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. A massive achievement by any means for a non First Tier rugby nation.

Boca Juniors

Los Xeneizes were the best football club of the decade. Why not? Just look at the stats; 4 Copa Libertadores, 3 Recopa Sudamericana, 2 Inter Continental plus 5 league titles (4 Apertura & 1 Clausura).


Well we can’t just ignore him, right. After all he did achieved everything with Boca and won a gold medal for us in 2008. Plus 3 times Player of the Year for Argentina and 1 South American Footballer of the Year.


He was the main architect behind most of Boca’s success during the last decade. Was named as South American Coach of the Year on three occasions (2000, 01 & 03)

Juan Martin DEL POTRO

The newest sensation of Argentine tennis. In just a short spam from 2008-09, he was already won a total of 7 ATP titles including last year’s US Open. Look out for him in the new decade.

Luciana AYMAR

The best female field hockey player over the last decade. She’s won 6 FIH Player of the Year award and 3 Champions Trophy player of the tournament to go alongside with the titles she won with the National team.

Carlos TEVEZ

Whether it was Argentina, Brazil, England, South America or Europe; the honours just kept coming wherever he goes. Not to forget for three consecutive years, he was named as South American Player of the Year (from 2003-05) plus numerous other individual honours.

Lionel MESSI

The currrent sensation of Albiceleste football. Perhaps I should just keep short here but if you need to know just click


From Lazio to Chelsea to Milan to Inter, he was the most prolific goals corer for an Argentine player in Europe. Not to forget, the leading scorer for the National team over the last decade.


For sentimental reason, I feel there is a deeper meaning on El Pupi achievement’s during the last decade. After years trying, the Noughties era rewarded him with 4 Scudettos, 2 Coppa Italia and 3 Italian Super Cup. On top of that, he is the most capped player for our National Team.

I’m sure there are many other names that I may omitted from this list. Please feel free to mentioned them in the comment box. Next up, the starting eleven of the decade.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Mundo’s Noughties Review - Five Best Moments

As we are now very much into 2010, I took this moment to write about the things that reflected the most during the Noughties Years. Surely from 2000-2009 the Albiceleste had it’s fair share of ups and downs.

Firstly, I would like to at some of the memorable moments that took place during those 10 years. In my opinion, many of these events serve as precedent for something to bigger to come (depending on how you wish to look at it).

So here are my 5 most preferred moments that I wish to highlight here. Of course you may let us know what was your best moment from the last decade.

2002 FIBA World Championship - USA vs. Argentina

The day which many people believe will NEVER come. Back then and unknown to most people, Manu GINOBILI, Luis SCOLA, Andres NOCIONI, Pepe SANCHEZ and company proved that fundamental basketball can overcome brilliance individual talent, when they despatch the US 87-80 in the eight final round. Argentina will go on to play in the final and loose to a controversial refereeing decision. But this result alone, will change the landscape of international basketball forever.

2003 Hamburg Master - The Semi-Finalist

When Gaston GAUDIO defeated Belgian Olivier ROCHUS in the quarter-finals, he alongside Wimbledon runners up David NALBANDIAN, Guillermo CORIA and Agustin CALLERI made a clean sweep for the Albiceleste in the Hamburg Master semi-finals. Perhaps, this was the day that tennis in Argentina is moving away from the VILAS era and among these names, the await for a Argentine Grand Slam winner is just around the corner.

2006 World Cup - Argentina vs. Serbia

For once football has been given a good reminder that it was a still a team sport instead all about individual talent. A total of 24 passes which also includes a Juan RIQUELME flick and a Hernan CRESPO back heel, from which Esteban CAMBIASSO droved it into the roof of net. Some called it as the best Team Goal of the Century , while others say it was the “Perfect Goal”. These days it seems like everyone wants (especially Arsenal) to emulate the perfect goal.

2006 Friendly International - England vs. Argentina

Finally a win over England on their own soil. Except it wasn’t to be in football rather the game of rugby. Marcelo LOFFREDA’s men made history in Twickenham as they defeated the reigning World Champions 25-18. This time, it was Federico TODESCHINI’s turn to produce the Hand of God with a 60m run try, except it was a legal one! After the game, captain Agustin PICHOT rounded up his team mates and told them to “save the moment“. In a year from then, we all know what that moment would be.

2007 Copa del Rey Semi-Final - Barcelona vs. Getafe

First it was the MESSI-ah as Diego MARADONA declared that Lionel MESSI was his natural “successor”. Then we had MESSI-mania as by now, the world was already in love with the little Flea of Barca. But it was this game which Lionel brought it all together when he scored a very similar goal to Diego’s famous “Goal of the Century” against England in the 1986 World Cup. Now the world is partying to the MESSI-dona tune.

Next up, the biggest achievers of the decade.