Saturday, February 27, 2010

Goals from Carlitos, Pipita, Hat-Trick Di Maria & Much More

From what I summarized after Saturday’s fixture, it looks like dress rehearsal from our forwards for next week friendly against Germany.

In England, while all the fuss was about the first meeting between John TERRY and Wayne BRIDGE since their recent controversy; Carlos TEVEZ decides to take matters into his own hand. He scored twice as Manchester City defeated Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge. This takes his tally to 23 goals in all competition for him this season.

In Spain, of all the big names; this occasion truly belongs to Gonzalo HIGUAIN as he was star in Real Madrid’s 5-1 trashing over Tenerife. Hr scored the first two and then went up to set Real’s third goal scored by KAKA.

With this result, the pressure was all on Barcelona as they need to maintain their comfortable position at the top. Down 0-1 against Malaga, they equalize through PEDRO in the 69th minute. Then with six minutes left, Lionel MESSI tapped in the winner after some nice work from XAVI and Dani ALVES. That was his 17th goal of the season.

In Portugal, Angel DI MARIA was in the heart of everything as Benfica ran out against Leixoes 4-0 with the talented winger scoring a hat-trick, the third goal which is an absolutely wonder.

Whilst in the French Ligue 1, Lisandro LOPEZ strucked the first for Lyon in their 2-0 win over Nice. Finally in Greece, Mauro MILANO was on target for Iraklis as they defeated Asteras Tripoli 4-0.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Career High Win For SCOLA

San Antonio Spurs inconsistency continues as they were unable to keep their momentum going after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunders. This time it was fellow Texas rival the Houston Rockets that dealt them to their 24th loss of the season, beating them 104-109.

While the night belong to Kevin MARTIN; from an Argentinean perspective, I would like to focus more on the one man that keeps reminding the Spurs how much have they lost in this game.

For me this has got to be the biggest nail in the Spurs coffin, three years since they’ve decided to let Luis SCOLA off from their books, allowing him to join the Rockets in the NBA. It doesn’t any get sweeter when tonight, he posted a career high 30 points plus 12 rebounds, 4 assists and one steal to his name.

On the opposite end, Manu GINOBILI could not replicate his performance from the previous game when he only manages 8 points, season high 10 rebounds and 4 assists.

In other games, Fabricio OBERTO had 2 points and 1 assist for the Washington Wizards in their 114-116 lost to the New York Knicks. Andres NOCIONI had 6 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist as the Sacramento Kings defeated the Utah Jazz 103-99.

Germany announce squad plus interesting stats

Earlier today, Germany announced their squad that will take on the Albiceleste in Munich next Wednesday.

Manuel NEUER

Philipp LAHM
Serdar TASCI

Christian GENTNER
Aaron HUNT
Marcell JANSEN
Mesut OZIL
Christian TRASCH

Miroslav KLOSE

Out of that list, 2 players(KROOS and MULLER) are getting their first National Team call-ups.

Interesting notes/stats:
Miroslav KLOSE has 48 goals in 93 games for Germany.
Germany has NEVER lost a game when KLOSE has scored.

Lukas PODOLSKI has 37 goals in 69 games for Germany.
Germany has lost 2 games when PODOSLKI has scored.

Michael BALLACK has 42 goals in 97 games for Germany.
Germany has lost 3 games when BALLACK has scored.

All 5 strikers who have been called-up by Diego for this match have a total of 33 goals between them in a total of 136 caps! That's not even the same amount of goals PODOLSKI has scored.

Sergio AGUERO has 7 goals in 20 matches.

Gonzalo HIGUAIN has 1 goal in 3 matches.

Lionel MESSI has 13 goals in 43 matches.

Diego MILITO has 4 goals in 20 matches.

Carlos TEVEZ has 8 goals in 50 matches.

Mundo's List of 23 to be revealed on Tuesday

Now if you'll remember, last month I started a "Pick Your Players" list where the readers of Mundo were able to vote on the list of 23 players they wanted for the World Cup. It consisted of 6 strikers, 7 midfielders, 7 defenders and 3 goalkeepers. However, we never posted the results. Which is why on Tuesday's podcast, we will be releasing the list of players YOU picked for Mundo's 23.

It will be interesting to see how many of those players made the list for the Germany match, if we(Seba, John and I) agree with the votes along with who we think from those 23 will make the World Cup.

Also, don’t forget to send us your views to our NEW e-mail address, or right here in the comments’ box. If you want to participate in a future edition of our pod cast, make sure to drop us an e-mail too.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Germany Podcast - Part 1 of 2

It's time for yet another Mundo Albiceleste podcast, this podcast being the first one of 2010. In this relatively short edition, John and I take a short look at next week's Argentina vs. Germany friendly and discuss who made the list and who didn't in this first part of 2 podcasts.

We discuss everyone who was excluded from Diego's list, from BANEGA to GAGO along with a hint of a special announcement coming in next Tuesday's podcast!

Simply click the audio player above or right click on the following link and save it as an MP3 file or listen to it to your computer: download.

And a NEW edition to our blog, you can also subscribe to us via iTunes.

And don’t forget to send us your view to our NEW e-mail address, or right here in the comments’ box. If you want to participate in a future edition of our pod cast, make sure to drop us an e-mail too.

A Great Night For MILITO & MANU

Diego MILITO seems to be one player that is never going to let the critics get over him. Not even a big game against a team like Chelsea is going to stop him from doing what he does best.

It took only three minutes for him to open for Inter being fed with a through ball from Thiago MOTTA, he made the Blues captain John TERRY half the man he is by slamming past Petr CECH in the near post.

To make it sweet night for former boss Jose MOURINHO, it was another Argentine sensation that ensured Inter finish with a victory. After being blocked in his first attempt, Esteban CAMBIASSO followed up with a 18 yard shot in the bottom corner of the goal post.

Inter won the game 2-1, a result which certainly means there’s all to play for in the second leg.

GINOBILI Leads Spurs Past Thunders

Manu GINOBILI came up with arguably his biggest performance of the season against the Oklahoma City Thunders as San Antonio Spurs defeated them 95-87. He posted 26 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steal and one block shot.

It was his only block that became the highly of the night. Just as when Thunder star player Kevin DURANT was about to runaway with a dunk, Manu came out from nowhere to produce a superhero display.

Despite of the risk of being embarrassed with a facial dunk, he ended up getting a clean palm on the ball and sent DURANT crashing down the baseline.

“I was more expect ting to be dunked on, to tell you the truth” Manu said.

In other games, Carlos DELFINO posted 9 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 3 block shot as his Milwaukee Bucks defeated the New Orleans Hornets 115-95. Fabricio OBERTO had 4 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal for the Washington Wizards in their 94-99 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

AIMAR & DI MARIA Combined to Rout Hertha

As mentioned by Totti in the comment section from our previous post. Benfica produce a stunning performance to hammer Hertha Berlin 4-0 in the Europa League. As a result they won their tie 5-1 on aggregate. Here is the highlight for you to enjoy watching both Pablo AIMAR and Angel DI MARIA fantastic performance.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Brace from Pipita Plus Bad News for Manu & Co.

A Cristiano RONALDO inspired performance plus two goals from Gonzalo HIGUAIN ensured that Real Madrid left their defeat against Lyon in the Champions League behind them with a 6-2 hammering against Villareal. His first came in the 50th minute when RONALDO set him up with a first time cross. Later on in the 71st minute, he was there again to slot home MARCELO’s cross. After this game, he has increase his tally to 14 goals this season.

Still in Spain’s La Liga, lets not forget to mentioned Pablo PIATTI who became the hero for Almeria after the scoring the winner against Atletico Madrid three minutes from time.

In France, Lisandro LOPEZ had a goal for Lyon in their 4-0 win over Sochaux. Moving to Portugal, Fernando BELLUSCHI was on target for FC Porto in their 5-1 win over Braga.

NBA News - 21 From Manu Still Enough for Spurs

Been a while since I’ve posted anything from biggest basketball league in the world. However it was all bad news for the Tall Albiceleste. Manu GINOBILI posted 21 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists & 4 steals for the SA Spurs but it wasn’t enough to prevent them from losing to the Detroit Pistons 101-109.

Despite posting another double-double, Luis SCOLA could not help the Houston Rockets from going down against the New Orleans Hornets 94-102. SCOLA had 12 points, 11 rebounds plus one steal.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The official list to face Germany is announced!

It is confirmed. It is official.

Here are your names for Argentina to face Germany in Munich on 3 March.




Gabriel HEINZE


Juan Sebastián VERON


Lionel MESSI
Carlos TEVEZ

More analysis to follow, but please do send us your initial feelings and thoughts about this...

Preview for Germany list

With MARADONA expected to release the list for the Germany match later tonight(Tuesday night), rumors are circulating that Ever BANEGA will make the squad over Fernando GAGO. MARADONA came out a while back and said that he can't pick players who are not playing for their clubs, Fernando GAGO being one of those players. Nothing is confirmed(far from it) when it comes to BANEGA getting into the squad and GAGO being left out. They are simply rumors and nothing more. As for what we do know(or atleast 99.9% sure).

Lionel MESSI
Sergio ROMERO(likely goalkeeper)

Those players are more or less confirmed to make the Germany list. Martin PALERMO, Juan Sebastian VERON, Fabian MONZON and the rest that MARADONA might want to call-up for this match from Argentina have domestic duties as March 3 is a Clausura match day, however, MARADONA would still be allowed to pick from the domestic players.

In my opinion, several names are up in the air and it will be interesting to see if they make the list or not:

Ezequiel GARAY
Gabriel MILITO
Emiliano INSUA

Those are the ones that I am personally looking forward to seeing on the list.

Pipita takes on Licha in the Champions League

The knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League starts off with matches involving a total of 5 Argentine's. UEFA has implemented a new match layout for this season. Only 2 matches will be played on every match day. 2 will be played today, 2 tomorrow, 2 next Tuesday and 2 next Wednesday.

As for today's matches, we have Real Madrid taking on Lyon in France and AC Milan takes on Manchester United. But the Argentine's are in the Lyon/Madrid match.

Gonzalo HIGUAIN, Fernando GAGO and Ezequiel GARAY for Real Madrid. Lisandro LOPEZ and this past weekend's goalscorer, Cesar DELGADO for Lyon. In this match, for Europe, it's BENZEMA returning home to play his old club. But for us Argentina fans, it's HIGUAIN versus LOPEZ.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Not too many goals to talk during the weekend.

First up we look at the French League from Saturday’s fixture between Olympique Lyon and Lens. The home team manage to finish the game with a hard fought 1-0 win courtesy of Cesar DELGADO. After a fine exchange passes between Sidney GOVOU and Lisandro LOPEZ, who played the decisive pass behind the defence for DELGADO to slide home the winner.

We move to Italian Serie A, where on Sunday Lazio visited Parma and came away with a 2-0 win. After absorbing much pressure from the home who were looking for a equalizer, Mauro ZARATE seal the deal for the blue half of Rome following a low cross from Sergio FLOCCARI.

In Spain’s La Liga, Pablo PIATTI scored for visiting side Almeria against Getafe in which the match finish to a 2-2 draw. His effort was parried by Jordi CORDINA but the rebound fell nicely for him to slot into the corner of the net.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Diego to name Germany squad on Tuesday

With the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver just hours away(Go Russia/USA by the way!), we here at Mundo are looking forward to something else... And no, I'm not talking about Valentine's Day! On Tuesday, Diego MARADONA will announce his squad that will travel to Munich next month to play Germany.

The reason why most of us are looking forward to the list is because it should give us a clear indication as to who will make the final cut for the World Cup and who won't. In short, if you're on the Germany list, you'll likely make the World Cup list. If the likes of SAVIOLA, CAMBIASSO, BANEGA and LOPEZ are not on the list, then chances are they won't be part of the final 23.

We know that MARADONA has already chosen MASCHERANO, MESSI, VERON and recently Walter SAMUEL, but what about those in the domestic league and the rest of Europe? Are OTAMENDI, PALERMO and MONZON going to travel to Germany? What about Marcos ANGELERI who Diego seems to love? Will the MILITO brothers make the list or only one of them? Or worse, they both miss out? Will we get a little bit of redemption for that heartbreaking loss in Berlin from 2006 or will it be just a little taste of what's to come?

Tune in on Tuesday for the next episode of this wonderful Telenovela starring Diego "a man of 102 players" MARADONA, Martin "The Saint" PALERMO and Seba "Diego MILITO's cheerleader" GARCIA!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Argentina 2-1 Jamaica - Bad vibrations, mon!

I had to watch this game. I don't know exactly why, but I thought I had to watch it. If anything, to do one of the things I love most: scream at the TV and criticize everyone who speaks or anything I see.

And I had plenty of reasons to do what I love most! It was a game that was tailor-made for that.

Then I found myself thinking and got to one conclusion: MARADONA is like a violent father.

I'm not WUI (writing under the influence). Let me explain what's my reasoning behind this.

A violent father will often say he loves his children and that he'll do anything for them. In some cases they would even go as far as to saying they are beating their children for their own good. When in reality, in every one of those cases, they know nothing about how to educate their children. In reality, they are not capable of being in that position and everything they do is wrong. Even when they don't mean to do wrong.

I have no doubts MARADONA loves our national team. He gave us enough proof of this in his playing days and also when he was a celebrity fan, but he is beating the hell out of the Albiceleste in every step he takes as a manager.

In another pathetic, almost horrifying display, Argentina defeated a VERY weak Jamaican team that included an amateur player and in order to do that, we needed more than 90 minutes to do so. As a matter of fact...Argentina were trailing until the 80th minute! Not to mention the blatant penalty that was not given to Jamaica in the first half.

Now we've got to get ready for an avalanche of idiotic journalists praising Martín PALERMO, who was awful and only scored thanks to some of the worst defensive displays I can remember and certainly because this Jamaican goalkeeper could have played without his hands and would have made no difference at all.

So-called pundits who undoubtedly have a hidden agenda and keep praising MARADONA (so Diego then gives them the exclusive interview, of course!).

Argentina scored twice in the last five minutes of the game. And the goals came after a fluky header from PALERMO and a goal-mouth scramble in which Jamaica's keeper tried to catch a butterfly in the area instead of keeping his eyes on the ball. Ignacio CANUTO the scorer.

Of course nobody will speak about how horrible this Jamaican keeper was. The first proof of this came in the very commentary of the game on TyC Sports. "PALERMO is the kind of natural born goalscorer that we don't have elsewhere in Argentina!" said one of those dinosaurs commentating the game. It doesn't matter if the guy is slow as a stoned turtle. He plays for Boca and his life has been like a movie script (HAS BEEN being the key words). That's enough to cement his place in our once very strong national team.

For the first time in my life I found myself actively rooting for an Argentina defeat. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. Why? Because I want what's best for the national team and what's best right now is to avoid any kind of validation of the mess MARADONA is doing with Argentina.

He was celebrating the goals like they were important. The look in his eye was that of a man who doesn't seem to realize what the situation is really like. A man who doesn't seem to understand that this was a VERY WEAK Jamaican side playing in Argentina and at times dominating the home side (which on a very different note showcased a very nice navy blue away shirt. Possibly the only outstanding thing about this game).

And that's all that MARADONA does during the game. 15 months since he was appointed and I NEVER (NEVER EVER EVER!) saw him or any of the members of his coaching stuff, give the players any kind of tactical direction or orders. He just stands there and says nothing other than: "Vamos, vamos" (come on, come on!).

True managers don't get excited about scoring two goals against this Jamaican side. True managers just think about how the team or some players work. That's what could have matter about this meaningless game. Apparently not to Diego, who is now talking about Fabián MONZON as if he was Ashley COLE and a young Paolo MALDINI put together, when he had NOBODY to mark and enjoyed the kind of liberties he won't enjoy against any decent opposition.

Football is not an exact science (that's one of the beauties of it), but having a (dis)organization like this will most likely complicate or even eliminate any chances we have to progress to the later stages at the World Cup.

It could happen, because I know of a guy who has been struck by lighting SEVEN TIMES in his life and survived.

If you ask me right now, the only chance we've got to win the World Cup in South Africa is if something like THIS was to happen to all the other teams in the tournament.

We are now officially doomed when it comes to knowing that Martín PALERMO is practically a certainty in the World Cup squad as the arm-band and the many hugs he shares with MARADONA show. "PALERMO is 80% guaranteed in my World Cup squad. He needs to keep his good level at Boca. PALERMO is necessary to me".

The only problem is that we won't be facing a team as weak as this Jamaican side in South Africa.

Right now, I can't take these thoughts off my head. I close my eyes and all I see MARADONA coming straight at me and forcing me to eat all my vegetables under threat of punishing me with more horrible images like those I've watched tonight.

He's coming to beat me and I'm too small to fight back...

Diego bragging about it: "I'll call 150 players"

I'm starting to think that Diego likes to do exactly the opposite to what the people want. Or certainly to what some members of the media are asking.

The main source of criticism for Diego's tenure as a manager is the outrageous number of players he seems to be calling up frantically.

Diego's response to those critics: "I don't care. I will call up 150 players if that's what I want. That's why these matches like this one against Jamaica are so important to me".

Sunday, February 07, 2010

MILITO & SAMUEL send Inter 10-points clear

Inter Milan produced a convincing 3-0 victory over Cagliari, subsequently moving them 10 points clear at the top of Serie A over city rivals AC Milan.

Already 1-0 up, they made it two in the 20th minute when defender Walter SAMUEL out jumped Cagliari’s Michele CANINI to head the ball in. Two minutes into the second half, the match was pretty wrapped up when Goran PANDEV and Samuel ETO’O linked up well to create a chance for Inter’s man of the moment, Diego MILITO. His low right footed shot from 10 yards took his tally to 14 goals.

In another Serie A match; Catania claimed a crucial away win over Lazio thanks to new signing Maxi LOPEZ. Remember that we did actually talked a little about a possible transfer involving him in our last pod cast.

Lucas BARRIOS continues his good form in the German’s Bundeliga when he scored for Dortmund in their 2-3 defeat against Frankfurt. In the French league, Gonzalo BERGESSIO was on target for St Etienne in their 3-0 win over Monaco. While Lucho GONZALEZ also had a goal in Marseille’s 5-1 hammering over Valenciennes.

Tomas COSTA scored for FC Porto in their 3-0 win over Naval 1° Maio in the Portuguese League. Lastly in the Greek Super League, Sebastian CARRERA scored twice for Asteras Tripoli but his team went down 3-4 to Ergotelis.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


From what we can say about all three La Liga fixture’s on Saturday was that there was an Albilceleste goal scorer in every matchers.

First up was Valencia playing at home against struggling Real Valladolid. The home side won the game 2-0 with Ever BANEGA scoring the first goal with a fierce drive which gave Valladolid goalkeeper Justo VILLAR no chance as it flew into the top corner.

Next up was Barcelona playing at home against Getafe which they won 2-1 despite finishing the game with nine men. With captain Carles PUYOL missing through suspension, Gabriel MILITO made his first start since returning from injury. It was Lionel MESSI who opened the score for Barca, lashing an unstoppable drive past Jordi CODINA in the seventh minute.

With Barcelona winning their game, Real Madrid had to keep pace with them at the top of the table. They did just that with a 3-0 win against Espanyol. Gonzalo HIGUAIN, starting from the bench, came in the 72nd minute for Karim BENZEMA. He coolly rounded up Carlos KAMENI and rolled the ball into an empty net.

In other leagues, Ancona defeated Albinoleffe 2-1 with Matias MIRAMONTES scoring the winning the goal for the home side in Serie B. While in the Greek Super League, AEK Athens defeated FC Xanthi 3-1 with two goals from Ismael BLANCO.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Argentina legend VARALLO turns 100 years old!

Our country began the year of the bicentenary festivities. On 25 May, 2010, Argentina will blow its 200th candle and there are parties being organized in every province to remember those days in 1810 when the first Argentine government (formed by Argentines) was proclaimed.

But this post is not about 'El Bicentenario de la República Argentina'. This is about a man who has lived half of his country's life! The only survivor from the first ever World Cup (Uruguay 1930), Francisco 'Pancho' VARALLO is celebrating his first century today (5 February) and Mundo pays tribute to one truly great Albiceleste icon.

VARALLO made the news last year when his record as the top goalscorer in the professional history of Boca Juniors with 181 goals was shattered by Martín PALERMO and today you'll see many references about him in the media around the world (or at least that's my hope). Back when PALERMO was chasing his record, a 99-year old VARALLO joked and said: "I'm thinking of coming out of retirement to score some goals and keep the record!"

We are talking about a man who was there when the first kick of the first FIFA World Cup happened. He played in the first final (though we lost to Uruguay) and he is still alive to tell the story.

VARALLO was born in La Plata and despite having a trial with Estudiantes, he went on to play for their arch-rivals: Gimnasia y Esgrima.

In 1929 he won Gimnasia's only domestic league title to these days. Though most pundits start counting titles since 1931 when football became professional and they don't consider everything that happened in the years leading to professionalism, when players were already being paid though not officially. I DO count the titles from the Amateur Era as it was during that era that clubs earned their fame and admiration whilst they captured the nation's imagination with that new and fascinating sport we call fútbol.

When VARALLO was 20, it was time for him to join the national team and go to Montevideo for the World Cup. Believe it or not, he was there when the mythical Centenario stadium was inaugurated! To put things into perspective, let me tell you that I was there not so long ago and I was overwhelmed by that venue. We are talking about a place that oozes with history. And to think this guy was around when they first kicked a ball around there is really something.

Known for his powerful shot despite not being a very big or strong player, he earned the nickname of 'El Cañoncito' (The Little Cannon). VARALLO was then attracted by the most popular club in Argentina: Boca Juniors. And he played the rest of his career for them, scoring 181 goals in 210 matches.

He won three league titles with Boca Juniors (1931; 1934 and 1935) and then he lifted the South American Championship trophy in 1937 with Argentina (such was the name of the current Copa America).

In 1994, FIFA gave him the Order of Merit, the highest award given by football's governing body to individuals.

He is the only Argentine footballer ever to receive such an honour (although *spit* Julio GRONDONA *spit* is listed with the Order of Merit in the category: 'Football Officials' alongside legends like Jules RIMET and Santiago BERNABEU, believe it or not. But I don't want to spoil this post on VARALLO talking about the mafioso dinosaur that has ruined Argentine football and will continue to do so. But after all, we are talking about FIFA. They do one thing right for every 1500 things they do wrong!).

Back to what brings us here today. Here's my message to 'El Cañoncito':

Dear Francisco VARALLO:

Mundo Albiceleste salutes you and wishes you all the best in your birthday. You are a true legend!

Here's the comments' box with a lot of love from Argentina fans around the World!


The list goes up to 102: Claudio BIELER is called

MARADONA named four Estudiantes de La Plata players yesterday and 40 minutes later he had to change those names and call up four different footballers.

A day after he announced the list, he realized Juan Pablo PEREYRA (Atlético Tucumán) was injured and so he decided to call up Claudio BIELER.

BIELER becomes the fourth Racing Club player on this list of 18 (he joins Gabriel MERCADO, Lucas LICHT and Gabriel HAUCHE) and more importantly, he becomes the 102th player that MARADONA called up since he took over as Argentina manager in October, 2008.

What kind of a player is BIELER? A very good one! A strong striker with great off-the-ball movement and a knack for scoring. He won the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana with Liga de Quito of Ecuador.

But I guess you all know that's not the point.

Can this get any more ridiculous?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

MARADONA completely losing the plot!

I know a lot of you still believe we can win the World Cup and I respect that opinion/belief. Even more so, I wish I could share that and feel the same.

With the countdown clock to South Africa 2010 ticking at 126 days, 19 hours and 47 minutes as I write this, MARADONA just reached a milestone and has called-up more than 100 players for the national team.

I wish that was the only bad news I had to share with you, but there's more. Believe me. Keep writing...

For the friendly against Jamaica (10 February in Mar del Plata, Argentina), Diego announced a list today that included four players from Estudiantes de La Plata (Clemente RODRIGUEZ, Enzo PEREZ, José SOSA and Mauro BOSELLI -no VERON who has already been pointed by MARADONA as one of the three players with a spot in the World Cup squad guaranteed (the other two being Lionel MESSI and Javier MASCHERANO)-), but then, AFTER he submitted the list and made it public, he realized Estudiantes have to play for the Copa Libertadores around the same date Argentina will face Jamaica so he had to delete those four names from the list.

A few minutes later, he came up with the replacements and now we know the 18 players that will be available for the friendly against the Reggae Boys.

With players from Newell's (SCHIAVI, for example), Velez (Maxi MORALEZ? OTAMENDI, DOMINGUEZ, CUBERO?), Colón (Diego POZO, Esteban FUERTES), Banfield (ERVITI) and Lanús (Sebastián BLANCO) also in action for their clubs in the Libertadores and not available, MARADONA choose the following footballers from our local league:


Nelson IBAÑEZ (Godoy Cruz)
Cristian CAMPESTRINI (Arsenal)

Matías CARUZZO (Argentinos Juniors)
Mariano ECHEVERRIA (Chacarita Juniors)*
Gabriel MERCADO (Racing Club)*
Ignacio CANUTO (Argentinos Juniors)
Leonel GALEANO (Independiente)*
Lucas LICHT (Racing Club)*

Juan MERCIER (Argentinos Juniors)
Jesús MÉNDEZ (Boca Juniors)
Walter ACEVEDO (Independiente)*
Patricio TORANZO (Huracán)*
Federico INSUA (Boca Juniors)

Martín PALERMO (Boca Juniors)
Nicolás GAITÁN (Boca Juniors)
Gabriel HAUCHE (Racing Club)
Juan Pablo PEREYRA (Atlético Tucumán)*
Franco JARA (Arsenal)

* = First call up.

With the seven new 'international' players on this list, the tally now goes up to 101 in a little more than one year.

But do you want to hear something even 'funnier' ('pathetic' would be the most appropriate word): Juan Pablo PEREYRA (no disrespect to him but this if the first time I hear his name and I'd like to believe I'm a keen football fan) from Atlético Tucumán IS CURRENTLY INJURED! He's got a broken nose and he is expected to be back in action for his club on 14 February (four days after Argentina v. Jamaica).

Not to mention that one of the players MARADONA used for the friendly against Costa Rica (Carlos MATHEU of Independiente) suffered a serious knee injury after only two minutes into that game and you can imagine Américo GALLEGO, Independiente manager, not being in a very good mood after that. Think about this now: only a week after that episode, Diego strikes back and calls up two (key) Independiente players that, if nothing else, will risk having an injury in another meaningless game, considering that both have very slim chances of making it into the World Cup squad.

This is an absolute nightmare. To know that this man will be in charge of leading a vastly talented generation of Argentine players into a very demanding World Cup just makes me sad and I already feel disappointed.

I do believe luck is important in every big tournament, but every day that goes by it seems we are going to rely on luck more than all the other teams that are going through a proper preparation.

End of rant. Over to you, amigos!

MILITO strikes again for Inter in Coppa Italia

Something that ought to make Seba extremely happy, Diego MILITO scores again! MILITO scored the only goal in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final to give Inter a 1-0 victory over Fiorentina. Javier ZANETTI, Esteban CAMBIASSO and Diego MILITO all started the match.