Diego Maradona has surprised many observers by leaving out Esteban Cambiasso, Javier Zanetti and Fernando Gago from his preliminary 30-man Argentina World Cup squad.
Inter midfielder Cambiasso has helped his club to the Champions League final and the brink of Serie A glory this season while his team-mate Zanetti possesses 136 caps and is a veteran of two World Cups.
Real Madrid’s holding midfielder Gago was another notable absentee along with Marseille’s Lucho Gonzalez and Barcelona defender Gabriel Milito.
However, there were places for Newcastle united duo Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez, both of whom have spent the season playing in the Championship in England.
There are a number of surprise inclusions by Maradona, including Ariel Garce, Juan Manuel Insaurralde, Clemente Rodriguez and Colon keeper Diego Pozo, who all play their club football in Argentina.
Maradona acknowledged that Argentina’s chances depended on getting the best out of Lionel Messi.
“I don’t want him stationed on the (right touch) line…All the balls have to pass through him,” Maradona told Fox Sports.
“I’m going to defend with four centre-backs, but I’m also going to have full-backs available in case we need to improve coming out of defence.”
Argentina’s preliminary 30-man squad:
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Diego Pozo (Colon)
Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Velez Sarsfield), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich), Walter Samuel (Inter Milan), Gabriel Heinze (Marseille), Nicolas Burdisso (Roma), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle), Ariel Garce (Colon), Juan Insaurralde (Newell’s Old Boys), Clemente Rodriguez (Estudiantes)
Midfielders: Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle), Juan Sebastian Veron (Estudiantes), Jose Sosa (Estudiantes), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Angel Di Maria (Benfica), Javier Pastore (Palermo), Sebastian Blanco (Lanus), Maxi Rodriguez (Liverpool), Juan Mercier (Argentinos), Jesus Datolo (Olympiakos), Mario Bolatti (Fiorentina)
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Carlos Tevez(Manchester City), Diego Milito (Inter Milan), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli).