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Discussion Starter #1
Caniggia named in Argentina's early squad

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) -

Veteran striker Claudio Caniggia has been confirmed as a member of Argentina's World Cup squad provided he recovers fully from the injury he suffered in the Scottish Cup final.

The 35-year-old Caniggia, who has played in two World Cups but missed the 1998 tournament in France, was among 12 players named by coach Marcelo Bielsa to begin training from Tuesday in Rome for the Korea/Japan finals.

Caniggia injured his knee early in the Cup final his side Rangers won 3-2 against Old Firm rivals Celtic in Glasgow and feared for the worst at first. His progress will be closely monitored in Rome.

Bielsa told a news conference before leaving for Rome where Argentina will begin their World Cup countdown, that all 12 would be in his definitive 23-man squad for the finals starting on May 31, injuries permitting.

Argentina face Nigeria, England and Sweden in that order in the Japan-based group F.

Top strikers Gabriel Batistuta and Hernan Crespo were both named among an Italian-based contingent whose club commitments have concluded.

The exception from Italy is midfielder Matias Almeyda whose club Parma play the second leg of the Italian Cup final against Juventus this weekend.

There was no room for Bologna striker Julio Cruz, who scored in the 1-1 draw against Wales in Cardiff in February.

Cruz is unlikely to make it even if Caniggia fails to regain full fitness with Barcelona wonder boy Javier Saviola waiting in the wings.

Argentina, favourites to win their third World Cup, will congregate at Lazio's training facilities and only head for Japan once the squad is complete.

Bielsa is expected to name his full squad just before the May 21 deadline.

The only two Argentine-based players in the squad, midfielders Ariel Ortega and Claudio Husain of league leaders River Plate, travelled with Bielsa and his coaching staff.

Boca Juniors playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme has been left behind.

CLUB COMMITMENTS

Bielsa has purposely not named a number of certainties, including Manchester United's Juan Sebastian Veron, because they still have end-of-season club commitments.

Bayer Leverkusen defender Diego Placente and Real Madrid midfielder Santiago Solari, if picked, will be the last to link up with the squad after playing on opposite sides in the European Cup final in Glasgow on May 16.

Left wing-back Juan Pablo Sorin, who scored in last month's 1-0 win over Germany in Stuttgart, will be another late arrival after further club commitments with Cruzeiro in Brazil.

With the Spanish league season still not over, also missing are Roberto Ayala, Pablo Aimar and Kily Gonzalez of newly-crowned champions Valencia and three Spain-based goalkeepers -- German Burgos of promoted Atletico Madrid, Barcelona's Roberto Bonano and Pablo Cavallero of Celta Vigo.

Squad:

Defenders: Jose Chamot (AC Milan), Mauricio Pochettino (Paris St Germain), Walter Samuel (AS Roma).

Midfielders: Diego Simeone (Lazio), Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan), Marcelo Gallardo (Monaco), Ariel Ortega (River Plate), Claudio Husain (River Plate).

Forwards: Claudio Caniggia (Rangers), Gabriel Batistuta (AS Roma), Hernan Crespo (Lazio), Claudio Lopez


:cool::cap:
 

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If i must say a weak point in Argentina this is their defense.In the other lines they are very pluralistic.

At last,Bielsa understood that Cruz has no place in the team.Especially with Batistuta and Crespo fit.
 
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Yeah, I agree there defense is lacking alot of depth; it's certainly not as strong as the rest of the squad. I reckon they have the best midfield and attack in the world at the moment and I really want to see Crespo and Saviola together up forward.

Either way goals shouldnt be hard to come by with veron, ortega and kily feeding from the midfield.
 

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But it will be hard for Saviola even to make the squad for Far East...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Bielsa rules out resignation over pay row

BUENOS AIRES, May 6 (AFP)

Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa denied he had threatened to resign from his position here Monday, saying he would definitely lead the South Americans into battle at the World Cup finals.
Bielsa has been at the centre of a long-running wrangle with the Argentina Football Association (AFA), claiming he is owed thousands of dollars in unpaid wages.
Reports have said the coach would resign if he is not paid money the owing to him by the federation, which has been hit by Argentina's crippling financial crisis.
But Bielsa sought to play down his differences with the AFA here Monday - and insisted there was no chance of him quitting as Argentina prepare to face England, Nigeria and Sweden in the World Cup's 'group of death'.
"My professional commitments always mean more to me than my personal interests," Bielsa said at a press conference shortly before leaving for Europe, where Argentina will hold a pre-World Cup training camp.
"I have never thought about not going to the World Cup," he added. "I have got problems with my employers but they are for me and the federation to settle. There is no need for it to interfere with my job as coach."

:mute:
 

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Win or bust at World Cup says Veron

BUENOS AIRES, May 9 (AFP)
It's all or nothing for Argentina at the World Cup finals, said midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron.
"For us it's the World Cup or nothing," the Manchester United player told the Rivadavia radio station.
"So many great hopes and expectations have been built up around this side, that we have no choice but to go out there and win the title."
Veron said that World Cup success could also play an important role in boosting morale in a country wracked by economic and political woes over the last few months.
"Sport cannot resolve all our problems, but it can at least reunite us a little bit more.
"As a team we want to bring back the happiness to people in their daily lives, a happiness that has been hard to come by in recent times."
Veron said that he would not play in Manchester United's last league match at the weekend as Arsenal had now won the title, and instead would join up with Marcelo Bielsa's squad at a training camp outside of Rome on Friday.
"It's not been a great year for me or for my team, but you can't win all the time and I am am quite happy in England," he said.
Veron also had praise for Bielsa saying he was a top-class coach. "He works hard and is a real professional with a great love for his country," he said.
Argentina are in the same group as England, Sweden and Nigeria for the World Cup finals.
 

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I disagree with you, we have great players in defense: Samuel, probably the bestb defender in Serie A, and in the world, Ayala, one of the best defenders in europe, and in spain... Pochettino is not bad at all, Placente, one of the most gifted technical player in Germany, he has had a great season in the Bundesliga and in europe.

Quiroga, also he plays in Sporting Lisboa, he has had a great year too, remember, after Uruguay, we had the best defense in Soutamerica in the qualifiers..
 

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But you haven't got in defense so many players as you have in midfield and offense.
 

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You can't have it all, i mean if we had Oscar Cordoba, Ivan Cordoba, Montero, Lucio, we would be perfect, but it wouldn¿t be fair to all the other teams,.

How's Chile doing these days?
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
SZeppelin75 said:


How's Chile doing these days?
Thats one hell of a CHEAP and stupid shot buddy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mad: To think some of us Cheer Argentina !!!!!!! :lala:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Argentina key player penpics

JUAN SEBASTIAN VERON
Age: 26
Position: Midfielder
Club: Manchester United (Eng)
A revelation at France '98, where despite his youth, he outshone his peers, Veron should be at the peak of his powers in Japan this summer.
His first season in the English Premiership with Manchester United has not quite matched his 28.1 million pounds price tag, but despite his unwillingness to track back and defend, his technical skills going forward are a joy to watch.
He has more responsibility for Argentina than is generally asked of him at United, and a large percentage of the team's attacking play are prompted by his quick footwork and searching passes.
Dangerous at free-kicks, Veron, nicknamed the 'Little Witch' can weave his magic when there is a chance of a direct strike at goal.
Former clubs include Boca Juniors, Sampdoria, Parma and Lazio.

GABRIEL BATISTUTA
Age: 33
Position: Forward
Club: Roma (Ita)
Scorer of four goals at USA '94 and five at France '98, Batistuta is arguably the greatest finisher in the world over the past decade.
Despite his excellent form for Roma, with whom he won the Italian title in his first season, 'Batigol' was barely used in Argentina's qualifying campaign.
But, as usual, when he played, he scored, collecting five goals from as many appearances.
Batistuta, whose former clubs include River Plate, Boca Juniors and Fiorentina, has become increasingly prone to niggling injuries, which have affected his sharpness this season.
That could be just the excuse for coach Marcelo Bielsa needs to ditch his veteran striker.
But with a superb goalscoring record at every level, Batistuta deserves to end his international career on a high.

ROBERTO AYALA
Age: 29
Position: Defender
Club: Valencia (Spa)
A rock at the heart of the Argentine defence, Ayala missed just one of the team's World Cup qualifiers to take the number of his international appearances beyond the 75 mark.
Ayala, who played in every one of Argentina's games at the 1998 World Cup in France, has been a consistent performer for Valencia.
He was a Champions League runner-up with the Spanish club in his first season having struggled to make an impact in Italy with AC Milan.
Although not the tallest defender around, Ayala makes up for his lack of height with superb technique and his quick reading of the game.
England's Michael Owen gave him a hard time at France '98, but it is unlikely Ayala will be caught out again when the teams meet in Sapporo on June
Continually linked with a move to Manchester United, it's not difficult to see why Old Trafford boss Alex Ferguson would see the stylish stopper as an ideal addition to his squad.

:cap:
 

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Gosh Colo Colo, i am not making fun of Chile, i like Chile, i was just asking how are you today?, are you going to get Pellegrini, he's a great coach..any new players coming up?

I was just asking, man i wasn't makin' fun of you.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
SZeppelin75 .. Ok !! :cool: Pellegrinni is probably headed to Europe ... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Caniggia only missing element in Argentina squad

BUENOS AIRES, May 14 (AFP)


Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa admitted Tuesday that striker Claudio Caniggia was the only missing piece in the World Cup joint favourite's squad as they undergo training in Formello, outside the Italian capital.
Bielsa said that he was confident that the 35-year-old Caniggia would have recovered from a knee injury picked up during his club Rangers' 3-2 Scottish Cup final victory over arch-rivals Celtic earlier this month.
Caniggia has been working flat out to regain fitness and Bielsa believes he will be in the line up on June 2 for Argentina's opening match against Nigeria as they bid for their third world title.
If the veteran has not reached the required level of fitness the spot would be taking by Celta Viga striker Gustavo Lopez, the Argentine coach has indicated.
Although the team have not been officially named, Bielsa has brought together 21 of the expected 23-man squad in Formello before they leave for Japan Wednesday.
Defender Juan Pablo Sorin is expected to arrive in Italy from Brazil later Tuesday, while defender Diego Placente will travel directly to Japan after Real Madrid's Champions League final against German side Bayer Leverkusen in Glasgow on Wednesday.
Before leaving Buenos Aires a week ago Bielsa had revealed a list of just 12 players and anticipated that he would be summoning the rest of the 23 after they finished club matches.
And he pointed out that he would not call up any players to the training camp who would not be going to Japan, so as not to give false expectations.
Among the squad training in Formello are:
Defenders: Roberto Ayala (Valencia/Spa); Mauricio Pochettino (Paris Saint Germain/Fra); Jose Chamot (AC Milan/Ita), Walter Samuel (AS Roma/Ita).
Midfielders: Pablo Aimar (Valencia); Matias Almeyda (Parma/Ita); Marcelo Gallardo (AS Monaco/Fra); Cristian Gonzalez (Valencia); Claudio Husain (River Plate/Arg); Gustavo Lopez (Celta Viga/Spa); Diego Simeone (Lazio/Ita); Juan Sebastian Veron (Manchester United/Eng), Javier Zanetti (Inter/Ita).
Strikers: Gabriel Batistuta (AS Roma); Hernan Crespo (Lazio); Claudio Lopez (Lazio), Ariel Ortega (River Plate).

:cap:
 

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Caniggia is awesome...good luck to him in the WC.
 

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Do you believe Caniggia will be in the first 11 with piojo and burrito in the same position?
 

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Caniggia is recuperating from an injury, Bielsa wants him to start in the game vs Nigeria ahead of Piojo and Ortega...it looks very likely...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Argentina omit Riquelme and Saviola

BUENOS AIRES, May 14 (Reuters) -

Argentina have left Barcelona's Javier Saviola and Boca Juniors playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme out of their World Cup squad, according to local media who have been following the team's preparations in Italy.

By Tuesday, 21 players had arrived at the training camp and Argentine media claimed that the two remaining places will be filled by Juan Pablo Sorin, who plays for Brazil's Cruzeiro, and Diego Placente from Champions Cup finalists Bayer Leverkusen.

Argentina are due to leave for Japan on Wednesday where Placente will join them after Wednesday's final against Real Madrid.

Sorin, who scored the winning goal in last month's 1-0 win over Germany, was due to arrive late on Tuesday.

It has been generally accepted by the media that changes will only be made to the 23 in the case of injury.

That means no place for Saviola, the gifted Barcelona striker, or Boca Juniors' elegant playmaker Riquelme.

Saviola made regular appearances, most as a substitute, during the World Cup qualifiers and led his country to victory in last year's World Youth Championship.

Riquelme, who wears the famous Boca number 10 shirt which once belonged to Diego Maradona, is a precocious talent at club level but has yet to make an impact in international football.

The first 12 members of the squad were officially named by coach Marcelo Bielsa last week, when he confirmed they would also be going to the World Cup.

The 12 included defenders Jose Chamot, Mauricio Pochettino and Walter Samuel, midfielders Diego Simeone, Javier Zanetti, Marcelo Gallardo, Ariel Ortega and Claudio Husain and forwards Claudio Caniggia, Gabriel Batistuta, Hernan Crespo and Claudio Lopez.

Thirty-five-year-old Caniggia, recalled this year for the first time since 1996, is reported to have made good progress since injuring his knee in the Scottish Cup final 10 days ago.

On Monday, they were joined by goalkeepers Roberto Bonano, Pablo Cavallero, German Burgos, defenders Roberto Fabian Ayala, midfielders Juan Sebastian Veron, Matias Almeyda and Pablo Aimar and strikers Gustavo Lopez and Kily Gonzalez.

If the selection is confirmed, it means that Nelson Vivas, who suffered a knee injury in February, will miss the tournament.

Argentina are drawn in the World Cup's toughest group with England, Sweden and Nigeria.

If they're missing from the call...those are HUGE players not to be there ... :mute:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Favourites Argentina arrive in Japan

NARITA, Japan (Reuters) -

World Cup favourites Argentina arrived in Japan on Thursday carrying the weight of their country's hopes for a third triumph to ease the pain of a ravaging economic crisis back in South America.

The players, including Manchester United midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron, AS Roma striker Gabriel Batistuta and Lazio's Hernan Crespo, arrived at Narita airport near Tokyo to a flood of camera flashes.

Batistuta smiled as he walked past TV cameras but Veron, who has suffered a difficult season with United as they failed to win a trophy, looked sullen.

Fans hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the world's most high-profile players were disappointed as the squad, wearing the team's pale blue and white sweatsuits, were quickly ushered out of a special exit under tight security.

Argentina's training camp will be in Fukushima prefecture, about 200 km north of Tokyo.

Japanese television later showed the players arriving at the camp where they were greeted by schoolchildren waving small Argentinian flags and shouting 'Good luck!' in Spanish.

With their country's economy on the verge of collapse and poverty levels rising, Argentinians -- who live and breathe soccer -- are looking for their soccer players to give them a reason to celebrate.

Bookmakers have them as favourites, followed by reigning world champions France, but they face a tough first-round group in which they will have to face England, Nigeria and Sweden.

Argentina are the second team to arrive in Japan for the May 31 to June 30 tournament after Costa Rica on Monday. Saudi Arabia and Senegal will land later on Thursday.

:cap::cool::cap:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Veron the motor of Argentine machine

PARIS, May 18 (AFP)


Juan Sebastian Veron, the motor of the Argentine machine which many see as good enough to land a third World Cup, hopes he can be the destroyer of rival's dreams in the Group of Death which pits his men against England, Sweden and Nigeria.
But some cynics prefer to regard him as the destroyer of something else this season: Manchester United's trophy-winning credentials.
While clearly one of the most talented midfielders in the world and instrumental in his country wiping the floor with their South American rivals in the qualifiers, Veron did not nearly live up to expectations following his record 28-million-pound move from Lazio to Old Trafford last summer.
Serie A champion one minute, he was derided in some quarters as being anything from an unnecessary luxury to an expensive flop the next as United did their utmost to accommodate him./p
Veron, used to playing the game at an altogether different pace than the frenetic speed of the Premiership, has been at pains to deny that a move back to Italy is on the cards.
But he admits that while happy enough in England this trophyless season has not been the best preparation for the World Cup. Now he has a dual goal at the finals.
One is to provide Argentina's tens of millions of soccer fanatics with a triumph which would represent a hefty, if non-material, compensation for the fallout from their country's dire economic problems. But he also wants a medal to ensure that this year's trophy cupboard does not remain bare.
Veron, whose passing range and accuracy are almost without parallel - qualities which Sir Alex Ferguson moved swiftly to snap up at the end of last season - did not mince his words as he underlined the importance of the event - for his country, but he might just as well have been talking about himself.
"For us it's the World Cup or nothing," he admitted to Rivadavia radio last week. "So many great hopes and expectations have been built up around this side, that we have no choice but to go out there and win the title.
"Sport cannot resolve all our problems, but it can at least reunite us a little bit more," he added in allusion to Argentina's financial problems which have seen the peso become almost worthless after huge devaluations against the dollar.
Veron's United season ended early as he flew to Rome ahead of his club's final Premiership match to join coach Marcelo Bielsa's pre-finals camp.
And reading between the lines as he headed off it was easy to detect a note of disappointment at a year of domestic failure, sentiment which has only fuelled his desire to lift the World Cup after Daniel Passarella and Diego Maradona before him.
"It's not been a great year for me or for my team, but you can't win all the time."/p
That also goes for the World Cup, especially as France are a possible second phase opponent.
For the English Premiership title there's always next year - but with a four-year wait until the next World Cup finals Veron doesn't intend to let this chance slip out of his grasp with the Argentina squad the best crop since the Maradona-inspired vintage in 1986.

:cool::cap:
 
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