Saturday, 20 December 2008

Argentina: Batista Names South American U-20 Championship Squad

Argentina youth coach Sergio Batista has named his twenty man squad for the 2009 South American U-20 Championship, which kicks off on the 19th January in Venezuela.

Batista's side go into the tournament as one of the favourites, having been victorious in the same age category in five of the last seven World Cups, and will rely on a squad of primarily home based players for the competition.

The exceptions to this are Liverpool full-back Emiliano Insua, Almeria forward Pablo Piatti - both of whom were in the squad that won the 2007 World U-20 Championship - and Chelsea striker Franco di Santo - who was involved in the 2007 South American U-20 Championship.

Velez Sarsfield are the best represented club with four players, while the rest are a fairly even spread, with River Plate and Lanus the only other two sides to have more than one player included in Batista's selection.

Argentina will open their campaign against the host nation Venezuela on the 19th January, as they look to progress to the final group phase as one of the top three teams in a group that also includes Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.


Goalkeepers: Luis Ojeda (Unión de Santa Fe), Diego Rodriguez (Independiente)

Defenders: Fernando Meza (San Lorenzo), Mateo Musacchio (River Plate), Fernando Tobio (Vélez Sársfield), Julián Fernandez (Atlético Rafaela), Emiliano Insua (Liverpool), Maximiliano Oliva (Tigre)

Midfielders: Franco Zuculini (Racing Club), Exequiel Benavides (Boca Juniors), Marcelo Benitez (Lanús), Iván Bella (Vélez Sársfield), Pablo Piatti (Almería), Cristian Gaitan (Estudiantes de La Plata), Leandro Velazquez (Vélez Sársfield)

Forwards: Eduardo Salvio (Lanús), Franco Di Santo (Chelsea), Jonathan Cristaldo (Vélez Sársfield), Andrés Rios (River Plate), Andrés Romero (Argentinos Juniors)

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