Thursday, 27 September 2007

Riquelme in Argentina squad for World Cup qualifiers

With the South American world cup qualifying campaign due to kick off on the 13 October, many managers have started to announce their squads for the upcoming games.

In what may seem a surprising move, Argentina coach Alfio Basile has called up Juan Riquelme to his squad, despite the playmaker having not played competitive football for three months, due to his fallout with Villarreal and subsequent inability to secure a move away before the transfer deadline.

An article in Ole (Spanish link), has summarised that Basile doesn't believe that anyone else can offer the same playmaking ability as Riquelme, and he is therefore loathe to give up that option. Although he does have players like Pablo Aimar and Federico Insua, who can both fill the 'Number 10' position, no-one quite masters the position in the same way that Riquelme does.

Basile is keen to get Riquelme over to Argentina as soon as possible, so that he can assess his fitness, and make sure he is up to match speed, before their first qualifying game against former Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa's Chile.

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