John and I have put together a player profile for the Argentina National Team. Here it is:
Despite of his indifference form at club over the past few seasons and also with almost regular football at Monaco, El Chiquito has manage to keep his place in the National Team as the undisputed first choice goalkeeper. We hope the trust that place on him by SABELLA will act as a motivation to do well in Brazil
He was a regular fixture under Diego MARADONA during the 2010 World Cup qualifier before losing his spot to ROMERO following a poor performance against Brazil in 2009. This will be his second World Cup and with his experience of regular football at club level, he could still be a reliable choice at goal should anything happen to ROMERO
SABELLA may know him too well as ORION was his first choice goalkeeper during their time together at Estudiantes which comes to no surprise on why regularly gets the call. Highly unlikely to see any minutes but a good back up to both ROMERO and ANDUJAR
Since 2010, he has already established himself as the first choice at right back for the National Team. A utility player as he could also operate in left back when needed and he is known for his tenacious style of play. He will arrive in Brazil with massive confidence after winning the Premier League title with Manchester City. A 2008 Olympic gold medalist.
A member of the 2005 U20 World Cup winning team & 2008 Olympic Gold medalist. Since he’s departure from Real Madrid to Benfica, he has rediscovered the form which made him one of the promising center-back and has now firmly established as SABELLA’s first choice. An instrumental figure in Benfica’s domestic treble winning season.
He is another one of SABELLA’s alumni during his time from Estudiantes. He has already firmly established himself as a starter for the National Team and will partner GARAY in the central of defense.
Like or not, he will be the first choice at left back in Brazil as he has been regular feature under SABELLA’s management. One of several Estudiantes players that have enjoyed some playing time with the National Team since SABELLA took over. Could be our weakest link in the starting line up so let’s hope he does repay the faith that SABELLA’s has in him.
Relatively a late comer to the National Team making his debut at the age 32 but has since established himself among the regular players called up by SABELLA. Has consistently been among the best defenders in Serie A over the past few years.
A surprise inclusion to the team as he was never in the picture under SABELLA after last featuring for the National Team in a World Cup qualifier against Bolivia back 2011. However despite of his somewhat performance for Manchester City, he blossomed towards the last few months of the season; playing a key role in helping them to win the Premier League. Naturally a center back but could also play as a defensive midfielder. He has enormous physical strength plus the ability to win the ball in the air.
José María BASANTA (Monterrey)
Captain for Mexican club Monterrey, BASANTA made his debut for the Argentina National Team against in a World Cup Qualifier against Bolivia in March 2013. BASANTA has played as CB as well as in the left back position under Alejandro SABELLA.
Tough, strong, hardworking, leadership; those are some of the words that can be associate for a player whom many believe plays with a heart as big as he’s head. Will be playing in his third straight World Cup and as always we can expect him to play with huge intensity, running after every opponent, tackling and winning back the ball. The only footballer in the history of the Olympics with two gold medals.
Once touted as the resurrection of Fernando REDONDO. Suffered a knee strain that could have prevented him from his first World Cup appearances but manage to recover just in time. On his best, he can be tough and resilience in his defensive duties but equally graceful, creative and visionary in attack. Has struck a great partnership with MASCHERANO in the middle and will be a key figure in SABELLA’s plan
A member of the 2005 U20 World Cup winning team along with Lionel MESSI, Sergio AGUERO and co, BIGLIA's National Team career has been a rollercoaster ride. In and out of the team for a few years, BIGLIA has slowly established himself as a reliable midfielder for SABELLA, often being substituted into the match in the second half. He delayed having shoulder injury in 2011 to be able to play in the Copa America.
Angel DI MARIA
He is currently on a high right now and is in perhaps the form of his life after enjoying in what has been his most successful year with Real Madrid. Won the Champions League last season and was named as the Final’s Man of the Match for his brilliant performance. Now playing in more a central role instead on the wings, he has seems to found major success in his new role as he was the top provider for his club with 19 assists all season. Will play an important figure for the team in Brazil in providing his spark from midfield.
A real professional, Maxi is one of the veterans on the Argentina National Team. Taking part in his third World Cup, Maxi is probably most known for his goal of the tournament striker against Mexico in 2006. A regular in Alejandro SABELLA's team, Maxi has been in good form for Argentina and will bring experience to the team.
One of the tallest forwards on the team, ALVAREZ has good ball control and having watched him live playing for Argentina, is a fast player for his height. ALVAREZ can play many positions and while naturally a midfielder, he has played as a center forward in the past.
A product of the famous River Plate youth system, FERNANDEZ is a right sided midfielder who brings balance to the midfield.
A fantastic season with Benfica, PEREZ has developed into a great box to box player. A hard worker, PEREZ is great going forward and will go back and defend when needed. A creative player when on the ball.
What is there left to say for a player that has already achieved so much over the last few years; I’m sure you can Google to find out the long list of accolades in his career. However this year his form has took a dip, all of which could prove to be a catalyst to finally shine in the blue & white shirt at the World Cup. If there ever was a time for the Flea to stamp his mark at the World Cup, Brazil is the platform. Will be hoping he will finally bring his club form & qualifier performance to the final stage
The last few years, Kun has been going from strength to strength and going to Brazil, he will be in the best form he has ever enjoyed after a spectacular season for his club Manchester City. Four years ago, he only had a bit part but this time he will be an important figure in SABELLA’s attack as his agility, acceleration, strength & plus clinical finish will be huge factor for the Albiceleste.
At the moment, he is the best No.9 we have judging by the statistic of 20 goals in 31 appearances since making his debut against Peru in 2009. His great striking ability in the box and a knack for goals will be crucial. Will also go to Brazil on a high after a strong showing for Napoli on his debut season in Serie A. Together with MESSI & Kun, he will form in what will be regarded as the best three man attack on the planet. One of three players in the history of Argentina to score a hat-trick at the Word Cup.
A real spark plug, LAVEZZI brings energy into the team. While he isn’t the best finisher, he will help set up team mates. A gold medal winner at the 2008 Olympic games, LAVEZZI is a great option to have on the bench to run the opposition into the ground.
Probably the least flashy of Argentina’s forwards, PALACIO is a very intelligent, versatile and experienced player. He will run back and help defend when needed but will also be making darting runs at the opposition.