Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Argentina: Maradona Names Squad For Scotland Friendly

Argentina's 1986 World Cup winning captain Diego Maradona was Tuesday confirmed as the new coach of the national side, naming his twenty-man squad for their 19th November friendly against Scotland during the press conference.

The squad for the friendly is currently comprised solely of European based players, and thus does not include Boca Juniors playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme, who had come under criticism for his performances in the final games of Alfio Basile's reign. However, Maradona hinted that a number of home based players could be added to the squad depending on their Copa Sudamericana commitments at club level.

There are few surprises in Maradona's selection, although the inclusion of five strikers would appear to indicate that he intends to play an attacking formation against the Scots. Barcelona's Lionel Messi will not take part due to an agreement between the Catalan side and the AFA to rest the youngster for friendly games.

"It is a great honour, a dream even, to take charge of the national side alongside Carlos," Maradona stated during the press conference, confirming that he and 1986 World Cup winning coach Carlos Bilardo would be "at the forefront of operations."

The forty-eight year old also confirmed that Liverpool's Javier Mascherano would be "[his] captain," for the Scotland game and beyond.

Full squad

Juan Pablo Carrizo, Sergio Romero; Nicolás Burdisso, Fabricio Coloccini, Martín Demichelis, Daniel Díaz, Gabriel Heinze, Javier Zanetti; Angel Di María, Fernando Gago, Lucho González, Jonás Gutiérrez, Javier Mascherano, Maximiliano Rodríguez, José Sosa; Sergio Agüero, Germán Denis, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Lisandro López, Carlos Tevez.

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