Wednesday, 12 May 2010

World Cup Squads

Rather than running through each individual squad and writing 500 pages i thought i would pick some of the favourite's squads and a few other teams and players.


Well Diego Maradona has a few surprises in his squad and left a few players out as well. Leaving out Zanetti & Cambiasso has been seen as a big surprise, especially as Zanetti started the qualifying campaign as captain and Casmbiasso was performing the vital screening role, protecting the fragile Argentinian defence - this position has been filled recently by Mascherano. I am a fan of Mascherano but i think Cambiasso has been excellent in that role all season for Inter Milan certainly much better than Mascherano has been performing for Liverpool. Both players had a key role for the qualifying campaign but this was before Maradona came in, when Basile was coach and had a relatively settled team.

Maradona has also decided to call some players to the squad based on there performance against Haiti which i think is a little strange. He's included Colon defender Ariel Garce, who had won two caps in 2003 as a River Plate player, and made only his third international appearance against the Haitians as well as Juan Manuel Insaurralde of Newells Old Boys who has 2 caps to his name so far. He's also called up midfielder Juan Mercier, who earned a third cap against Haiti, and has been impressive for Argentine title favourites Argentinos Junior. Also in midfield he's called up Sebastian Blanco, Jesus Datolo, Jose Sosa and Javier Pastore (Blanco, Datolo & Sosa have 11 full caps between them, Pastore has only played against Catalonia in an unofficial friendly). Whilst the first XI is still very strong, questions will be raised about the strength and depth in the squad and how there is very little experience or stand out quality in the reserves


The Brazil squad was realtivly straight forward for Dunga, some sections of the Brazillian media and fans wanted him to call up Neymar & Paulo Henrique who have been setting the Campeonato Paulista alight with fantastic skills, passes and goals but he resisted this pressure. There was also some pressure, although not as much, to bring Ronaldinho back in as a Plan B incase anything happens to Kaka but he has opted to leave Ronaldinho out of the squad. The only other debate was over Adriano or Grafite and as Adriano's personal demons have raised their head again Dunga has decided to take Grafite along with Nilmar as back up to Robinho & Luis Fabiano with Pato missing out due to his recent injury problems


The biggest surprise in the France squad is the decision by outgoing manager Raymond Domenech to leave Karim Benzema out of the squad. Karim's had a disappointing season by his standards, making 14 starts and 12 appearnces from the bench in La Liga but only scoring 8 goals and getting 3 assists, in the CL he made 3 starts, 2 further appearances from the bench but only found the net once which isn't a great return for a £35m player. To rub salt in the wound, Djibril Cisse a player i have never really rated has been called up instead of him along with Jimmy Briand
who only has 3 caps and has only scored 5 goals in 22 appearances for Stade Rennes after missing last season and the start of this season with a ruptured ACL. Patrick Viera has also been left out but he hasn't been the same player he once was and wasn't really expected to be included in the squad.


The inclusion of Jamie Carragher is a big surprise by Fabio Capello after he retired from international duty 3 years ago and writing some interesting thoughts in his auto-biography relating to international duty. At the time he retired he was unhappy with not playing as center back and being played on the right - this time he's going to be going as back up right back to Glen Johnson & about 4th choice center back. He also isn't the player he was 3 years ago, he's not as fast and has had an average season at best for Liverpool. A couple of other surprises for me was the inclusion of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Adam Johnston, Scott Parker and Darren Bent - players like SWP & Darren Bent have played at international level before and never seem to be quiet the standard you'd want for playing teams like Brazil, Spain and Argentina whilst Johnston and Parker are very inexperienced at this level.

Other Squads that have been announced are pretty much what was expected - Thomas Sorensen has been included in the Denmark squad despite suffering from a dislocated elbow, in Italy Marcello Lippi has discarded Luca Toni in favour for Guiseppe Rossi and left out controversial striker Mario Balotelli. Vicente Del Bosque's biggest surprise was including 5 goalkeepers in his 30 man squad, including Barca keeper Victor Valdez as well as inclduing the injured trio of Torres, Iniesta & Fabregas. Bojan hasn't been included but his Barca team mate Pedro has been along with Osasuna's
Cesar Azpilicueta and Bilbao's Javi Martinez. In Mexico Man Utd fans might get a chance to see Javier Hernandez in action after he was included along with Arsenal's Carlos Vela and Serbia included another rumoured United target in Subotic, the Borussia Dourtmund center back who has a formidable partnership with current United centre back Vidic. The US player Charlie Davies did not make the national team squad after suffering a horrific car crash in Washington, he has returned to training despite original doubts over him being able to walk again but the World Cup is just soon for him. The Scottish born Stuart Holden has been included despite only playing 2 games since joining in January.

I hope this has enlightened you a bit more to some of the World Cup squads and thanks for reading! as usual leave any feedback below, or find me on Twitter (Buster_5265) or e-mail me at

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