Argentina names squad vs. Brazil, Paraguay
Argentina coach Diego Maradona has named his 19 European-based players in his squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers with archrival Brazil and Paraguay in September.
The local-based players will be added to the squad on Aug. 30, it was announced by the Argentine Football Association (AFA).
From the squad the surprise inclusions are that of relative newcomers Jesus Datolo of Napoli and Nicolas Pareja of Espanyol. Maradona also decided to select both Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez, even if they play their club football for Newcastle United.
Once again, Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain was overlooked by Maradona. But the French-born youngster has declared that he is still determined to represent Argentina in the future.
Argentina is in need of victories in its next two qualifiers, as the team is currently in fourth place in the 10-team South American group, and could risk World Cup elimination.
Their clash with archrival Brazil is particularly important, not only because of the rivalry between both teams, but because if Brazil wins the game and the results from the other matches favor it as well, it could secure passage to the World Cup on Argentine soil.