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Maradona’s Final 23

With 22 days left until the world’s biggest sporting event kicks-off in South Africa, Argentine national team coach Diego Maradona has revealed his final list of 23 players who will feature in the finals.

There must be some logic that goes into selecting a team that we ordinary people must not know of because believe it or not, Maradona was already bent on excluding Inter Milan striker Diego Milito from his squad! Milito did eventually make the cut but after much deliberation. First it was Dunga now its Maradona? What’s with it about former players turned coaches?

Milito has been in outstanding form for the Neraazzurri this season. In fact Inter owe him a lot for helping them successfully defend their scudetto. The same goes for Dunga and Brazil. Dunga left out one of the brightest players this season in the form of Ronaldinho and opted to include someone who was voted the worst player in Serie A for the year 2009-Felipe Melo. Can you Believe that! Because i can’t.

Anyway, Maradona is not new to controversy. After infamously denying Javier Zanetti and Estaban Cambiasso the chance to represent their country in the World Cup, Maradona would have surely incurred the wrath of the Argentinean fans should he have left out Milito.

A large percentage of Argentine fans had their doubts with Maradona during the qualifiers and the legend still has trouble trying to win the hearts of his country men and women ahead of the month long tournament.

Looking at Maradona’s final 23, i have to say i am not really impressed. I think the only good choices he made, was in selecting his forwards. Maradona’s forward selection is envious to say the least. I am sure he won’t be having any problems getting the ball in the back of the net.

The Midfield in my opinion is weak. La Albiceleste will dearly miss the services of Juan Roman Riquelme. Again this is a case of personal feelings getting in the way of his duties.  As shocking as it may be, Former Manchester United player Juan Sebastian Veron made the cut. I can’t even remember the last time i heard about Veron.

Maradona however did a good job with the defense. That said, we only be able to judge him by his results. Below is Argentina’s complete list of 23.

Sergio Romero AZ Alkmaar (NED)
Mariano Andujar Catania (ITA)
Diego Pozo Colon
Nicolas Otamendi Velez Sarsfield
Gabriel Heinze Marseille (FRA)
Martin Demichelis Bayern Munich (GER)
Walter Samuel Inter (ITA)
Ariel Garce Colon
Nicolas Burdisso Roma (ITA)
Clemente Rodríguez Estudiantes
Juan Sebastian Veron Estudiantes
Javier Mascherano Liverpool (ENG)
Jonas Gutierrez Newcastle (ENG)
Angel Di Maria Benfica (POR)
Maximiliano Rodriguez Liverpool (ENG)
Javier Pastore Palermo (ITA)
Mario Bolatti Fiorentina (TA)
Lionel Messi Barcelona (ESP)
Gonzalo Higuain Real Madrid (ESP)
Carlos Tevez Manchester City (ENG)
Sergio Aguero Atletico Madrid (ESP)
Diego Milito Inter (ITA)
Martin Palermo

Boca Juniors

Photo credit: from sebdal