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Maradona names World Cup squad
Ezequiel Lavezzi and Fabricio Coloccini miss out as coach chooses five home-based players.
Last Modified: 19 May 2010 20:51 GMT
Maradona has named five home-based players in his squad [EPA]

Napoli striker Ezequiel Lavezzi and defender Fabricio Coloccini missed out when Diego Maradona named his 23-man Argentina World Cup squad.

Liverpool right winger Maxi Rodriguez, like Coloccini a veteran of the 2006 finals in Germany, was retained as cover for Newcastle's Jonas Gutierrez.

The only recognised full back in the 23 was Clemente Rodriguez of Estudiantes with Maradona planning to field four central defenders in Argentina's Group B opener against Nigeria in Johannesburg on June 12.

Javier Zanetti, Argentina's 136-cap record holder and an experienced full back set to captain Inter Milan in Saturday's European Champions League final against Bayern Munich, missed out on a place in the provisional squad.

Muscled out

The man seen as having muscled Zanetti out is Colon's 30-year-old defender Ariel Garce, who cemented his place in the 4-0 win over Haiti on May 5.

He won two caps in 2003.

Palermo midfielder Javier Pastore, the only player in the squad without a cap, will cover 35-year-old playmaker Juan Sebastian Veron, who may struggle to last the pace of the finals if Argentina go far.

Lavezzi was the only player dropped among the forwards on the 30-man list.

Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Gonzalo Higuain, Diego Milito and Sergio Aguero, father of Maradona's grandson Benjamin, are leading strikers in Europe's strongest leagues.

Veteran Martin Palermo, Boca Juniors' record scorer with 222 goals and a Maradona favourite, is the sixth striker and one of five home-based players in the squad.

Jose Sosa, on loan at former Club Estudiantes from Bayern Munich, had high hopes of making the cut with his good form in the South America Libertadores Cup but lost out to Maxi Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, a dynamic runner who likes to cut in towards goal and has settled at Liverpool after his January move from Atletico Madrid, scored the goal of the 2006 finals, a left-footed volley from 35 metres into the top corner in the second round 2-1 extra-time win over Mexico.

Argentina, looking for a third world title and first since 1986 when Maradona was captain, were knocked out by hosts Germany in the quarter-finals four years ago.

They last reached the semi-finals in Italy in 1990. The four times that Argentina have reached the last four they have gone on to play the final.

Goalkeepers:

Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Diego Pozo (Colon).

Defenders:

Gabriel Heinze (Olympique Marseille), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich), Nicolas Otamendi (Velez Sarsfield), Walter Samuel (Inter Milan), Clemente Rodriguez (Estudiantes de La Plata), Nicolas Burdisso (AS Roma), Ariel Garce (Colon).

Midfielders:

Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle United), Angel Di Maria (Benfica), Mario Bolatti (Fiorentina), Juan Sebastian Veron (Estudiantes de La Plata), Javier Pastore (Palermo), Maxi Rodriguez (Liverpool).

Forwards:

Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Diego Milito (Inter Milan), Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors).

Source:
Reuters
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