Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A farewell for ORTEGA? He will play against Haiti

Argentina, formed by the domestic-league players with Martín PALERMO as the main man when it comes to those with chances to make it to the World Cup squad, will play Haiti in a match that will serve as a fund-raiser for the victims of the earthquake that devastated the Caribbean nation in January 2010.

For troubled fallen Argentina hero, Ariel ORTEGA, this could serve as a chance to bid farewell to our national team.

Well-known are ORTEGA's troubles. He has been suffering from alcoholism for a long time and came out not so long ago whilst still playing for River Plate. He's been trying to overcome that nightmare but has had many set-backs. Nonetheless, he is still a very important player for a River Plate team that is in complete disarray.

As recently as on Monday, Ariel ORTEGA was involved in a car accident (the fourth I remember). I think this call up is more of a gesture from MARADONA, who was his room-mate during the USA 1994 World Cup (when ORTEGA was a youngster poised to become the New MARADONA).

If anything, El Burrito will bring more people to the stadium and will raise this friendly's profile. Certainly amongst River Plate fans from the province of Neuquen (the match will be played in a town called Cutral-Co) in the Patagonia.

The other interesting aspect has to do with the goalkeepers. MARADONA said many times his choices as shot-stoppers are: 1. Sergio ROMERO; 2. Mariano ANDUJAR and 3. Diego POZO.

Now with Diego POZO going through a difficult season with Colón de Santa Fé and having conceded five goals last weekend, it seems Adrián GABBARINI, from Independiente, is poised to take his place and probably increase his chances of being called up for the World Cup as our third goalkeeper.

GABBARINI has been impressive this season with Independiente and I've seen him saving crucial shot after crucial shot in El Rojo's quest to win the title. With 11 goals conceded this tournament, he is the best goalkeeper available in the domestic league.

Continuing with his trend, MARADONA has called a few new players to that list of over 100 footballers he's called up since he took over as Argentina manager. Roy will surely have the numbers there and he'll know exactly how many players has Diego called.

Here are the new names ahead of the Haiti friendly:

Adrián GABBARINI (Independiente, goalkeeper)
Paolo GOLTZ (Huracán, central defender)
Juan Pablo PEREYRA (Atlético de Tucumán, forward)
Ariel GARCE (Colón de Santa Fé, left-back)
Nicolás OLMEDO (Godoy Cruz de Mendoza, midfielder)

Ariel ORTEGA is not really a new face but, if he gets some minutes, he'll go on to increase the number of players on that list of Diego call-ups.

And the rest of the list is:

Diego POZO (Colón de Santa Fe, goalkeeper)
Matías CARUZZO (Argentinos Juniors, central defender)
Luciano MONZON (Boca Juniors, left back)
Juan Manuel INSAURRALDE (Newell's Old Boys, central defender)

Juan MERCIER (Argentinos Juniors, defensive midfielder)
Patricio TORANZO (Huracán, offensive midfielder)
Leonel VANGIONI (Newell's Old Boys, midfielder)
Facundo BERTOGLIO (Colón de Santa Fe, offensive midfielder)
Sebastián BLANCO (Lanús, offensive midfielder)

Franco JARA (Arsenal de Sarandí, striker)
Martín PALERMO (Boca Juniors, striker)

One more thing...the match will be taking place in the middle of the run-in for the domestic tournament and the knock-out stages of the Copa Libertadores.

Knowing that Estudiantes de La Plata, Velez Sarsfield and Banfield are still in contention for the Copa Libertadores (plus Estudiantes are leading the Clausura tournament with 3 matches to go), MARADONA has intentionally avoided calling up players from those teams.

The problem here is that he called up two key players from Argentinos Juniors (second in the standings, just one point behind Estudiantes). I wonder what the reaction would be from Argentinos Juniors, a club so close to Diego's heart so much that they even named their stadium 'Diego Armando MARADONA', if any of those players gets injured facing Haiti.

We will see whether there will be more controversies going MARADONA's way.

11 comments:

LaTiNo said...

I hope it's just a farewell gesture and that he won't bring him to south africa ;)

John said...

I feel sad to hear this about ORTEGA. I really do.

I still remember my very first time watching him when he came on for Diego in the match against Greece in USA’94. Back then, I wasn’t too sure about his ability though I’ve been hearing plenty of great reviews about him.

Four years later, unashamedly I was he biggest fan in the world. I was proud to tell you he was my most favourite player during France ’98. After seeing some great display from him, I had high hopes to see big things from him.

Unlike most of his peers from the BIELSA’s era (CRESPO, AIMAR, VERON, LOPEZ, ALMEYDA, AYALA and many others) he never fulfilled his potential to the maximum in Europe. I was shocked to hear that he signed for Fenerbache, thinking like why does a player like him choose to go to Turkey (he never really made it there was later on transferred to play in the Qatar League, I believe). I still find it hard to accept the fact that a player as gifted as he is can’t cut it with Europe’s best.

I guess what Roman is for Boca, he is for River. Always a River.

If this match serves as a one off match for him to bid farewell to the National Team, then so be it. I’ll agree with Diego’s decision 100%. I really hope he will be able overcome his personal demons and in some ways this match can help him to achieve just that.

Anonymous said...

I AWAIT THE BACK LASH AGAINST MARADONA FOR PICKING ORTAGA BY MENTALLY ILL FOLK !!!

i.e the Argentina world cup blog community witch has already started there also wishing squad members are injured you couldnt make it up

there all like 12 or something

Anonymous said...

EVER SO OFTEN ORTAGO SCORES MARADONA LIKE GOALS NOT THAT MANY BUT STILL HE HAD SOME AMASSING MOMENTS DO FEEL HE WASTED IT

HE WAS HUNTED WITH THE NEW MARADONA THING

GK said...

John, I'm pretty sure Ortega went from Fernebache right to River Plate. Your thinking of Batitistuta who played his final season in the Qatar league, then again I could be mistaken as well.

And how could you have so much praise for the guy? Especially in '98? Batigol was much better and I don't think I will ever be able to forgive Ortega for that stupid stupud sending off against Holland. Who knows how Argentina would have done if he didn't get that red card which resulted in that infamous goal....

GK said...

By the way, FIFA released the new world rankings today and Argentina moved up 2 places from number 9 to number 7.... Not that the rankings really mean anything but I thought I'd share.

Anonymous said...

GK,

Batistuta was not really good in 1998. who cares about his hattrick against jamaica?

where was he against england and holland? ok, a pk against england, wow. Ortega played better, but all his efforts, in terms of goals.

Vitalij

salvio supporter said...

I'm very sorry for Pozo, the match against Newells was a total disaster from Colón's side. I don't think it will affect Pozo's chances in any way, nonetheless it's a good chance to put Gabbarini on the spot, it's a well deserved chance.

John said...

GK,

I didn’t mean that ORTEGA was better than BATISTUTA, no way. In fact those two different type of players so we can really compare the two of them. Batigol will always been the greatest goalscorer we ever had, period.

It’s just that I had a soft spot after ORTEGA after watching him playing and to me he was my personal favourite in France’98. I believe it was during his time with Valencia until the World Cup that year; he was in the zenith peak of his career. After that, he never manages to replicate such performance on the field (especially at club level in Europe).

Surely he had great times with the National Team during the World Cup qualifier (circa 2000-01) but then again like who didn’t back then. As mentioned by Seba we peaked too early and got backfired during the World Cup in Japan/South Korea. For the most part, ORTEGA was not able to break through who ever was marking him and wasted a lot of time because of keeping possession.

In the end, I just feel very sad to him in his current state and I pray he will recover from this horrible nightmare.

Batigol9 said...

Ortega was a self destructive player,huge potential but never really fulfilled.I wouldn't really blame him for the 98 loss.I think we were just unlucky when Batistuta hit the post when he would score such a shot 9 out of 10 times (although it wasn't an easy chance).It wasn't just meant to be.It was France's time to win it.

Anonymous said...

the post above hits nail on head batigol was lethalk in 98

by far repeat fact slays opinion HE WAS BY FAR THE BEST STRIKER THERE

HIS POST HIT AGAINST HOLLAND WAS BAD FUCKING LUCK

AND LOPEZ GOT CHOPED ACROSS THE NECK WIND PIPE IN THE DUTCH PENALTY BOX BUT WAS HONEST KEPT FIGHTING AND RUNNING IF HE WENT DOWN IT WAS A PENO

THATS BEING HONEST FOR YOU I SUPPOSE