Argentina’s provisional Squad for World Cup namedWednesday, May 14, 2014
Defender Demichelis gets unexpected call
Foreseen, Tevez is not included in the 30-player preliminary list
Coach Alejandro Sabella included Manchester City’s Martín Demichelis, who hasn’t played for the national team for two years in Argentina’s preliminary 30-man squad for the World Cup. Striker Carlos Tevez was left out.
Central defender Martín Demichelis, a Premier League winner with Manchester City in his first season in England, earned a surprise call-up yesterday to Argentina’s provisional 30-man World Cup squad.
However, there was no last-minute surprise place for Juventus striker Carlos Tevez, who has never been in coach Alejandro Sabella’s plans despite his fine form in Serie A.
Demichelis, a veteran of the 2010 finals, had not been called up by Sabella since being dropped after a 1-1 draw at home to Bolivia in a South American qualifier in November 2011.
The 33-year-old, who has 37 caps, put behind him a poor Champions League last-16 performance against Barcelona in February, when he conceded a penalty and was sent off, to secure his place in the centre of the City defence in the title run-in.
Sabella, whose team have often looked unbalanced with a brilliant attack and ordinary rearguard, has noted Demichelis’ recent form as he looks to improve his defence for Argentina’s tilt at a third World Cup triumph in Brazil.
Another surprise call-up is Catania midfielder Fabian Rinaudo, who won one of his four caps under Sabella in 2011, and is regarded as cover in case regular midfielders Fernando Gago or Augusto Fernández fail to recover from injury in time to be included in the definitive squad on June 2. Right back Gabriel Mercado has earned a chance thanks to his performances for River Plate, who could lift the Final Tournament title this weekend. Sabella named Gago of Boca Juniors, Fernández of Celta Vigo and Real Madrid’s Angel Di María who all hope to be fit in time for the tournament in Brazil starting on June 12 in which Argentina face Iran, Bosnia and Nigeria in Group F.
Di Maria is fighting to be fit for Real’s Champions League final against Atlético Madrid on May 24.
Werder Bremen’s Franco Di Santo has been given a chance to stake a claim for a spot in Sabella’s star-studded strike force featuring Lionel Messi, Sergio Agüero and Gonzalo Higuaín.
The list was presented yesterday at the Channel 7 building. After the ceremony Sabella was quoted: “I appreciate the effort of those who have reached the World Cup, and I apologize to those who did not make the list,” summorized Sabella following his picks.
He later gave a more profound congratulations to those who were fortunate enough to have made the squad by saying, “I want to enormously thank those 30 men who made the list and for making a huge effort to bring Argentina to the World Cup. I also want to thank those who aren’t. It is a difficult decision, and I would like to apologize if you are not on the list,” stated Sabella , who will have to further refine the list to 23 players on June 2.
Additionally, the coach mentioned in regards to aiming for their third crown: “This is a passion. We will work with the support of the managers, and with the support of the public in this very difficult mission in the search for the third Cup for Argentina.
In almost the form of a prayer, Sabella ended by saying, “We will do it with sacrifice, humility and with a sense of pertinence. We will be calm and give a 100 percent or 120 percent. We ask that you help us in the sense of giving us strength to be courageous and we will be enlightened in the decisions. Thank you very much, we are all in the same boat, but with different responsibilities. I repeat, give us the help to make the best decisions,” highlighted Sabella in an attempt to rally the Argentine football community.
Herald staff with Reuters, DyN