Monday, May 29, 2006

TEAM SPOTLIGHT - Won't cry for you Argentina this time


Argentina ranked No.8 in the World and tipped to be the last team standing. Their poor showing in the previous edition of the World Cup doesn’t change them from being direct challengers to Brazil and the other contenders.

The two-time world champion Argentina has been long under the limelight of the legendary Diego Maradona, whose astonishing feat in the 1986 World Cup has made him a legend.

In subsequent edition of the World Cup, World Cup '90 they came close to winning it a third time where they eventually lost to West Germany in the finals. In 1994 edition of the World Cup which was led by Diego Maradona they were again tipped to win it. However their fortunes tumbled when Maradona was out of the World Cup after a failed drug test.

Inspite of the Team being overshadowed by Maradona they have always produced amazing players. They had inspirational Gabriel Batistuta to take the side to glory in the 2002 World Cup but Argentina had a sad stint in the Group of Death.

They sure are ready to make amends for their 2002 World Cup debacle. This time they have a more balanced side and a better talent pool, players who could make it to any side in the World. The star studded lineup includes Riquelme, Saviola, Aimer, Sorin, Mascherano, Crespo and the young Messi. Messi being instrumental in Argentina winning the FIFA World Youth Championship in 2005.

In this World Cup, Argentina is placed in group C along with the Netherlands, Cote d’Ivoire and Serbia & Montenegro.

World Cup History

World Cups played -18 (1930, 1934, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002)
World Cup laurels – winners 2 (1978, 1986); runners-up (1930, 1990)
The Squad

Goalkeepers
1) Roberto Abbondanzieri, 12) Leonardo Franco, 23) Oscar Ustari

Defenders
2) Roberto Ayala, 3) Juan Sorin, 4) Fabricio Coloccini, 6) Gabriel Heinze, 13) Lionel Scaloni, 15) Gabriel Milito, 17) Leandro Cufre, 19) Nicolas Burdisso

Midfielders
5) Esteban Cambiasso, 8) Javier Mascherano, 10) Juan Riquelme, 16) Pablo Aimer, 18)Maxi Rodriguez, 22) Luis Gonzalez

Forwards
7) Javier Saviola, 9) Hernan Crespo, 11) Carlos Tevez, 14) Rodrigo Palacio, 19) Lionel Messi, 20) Julio Cruz

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