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November 1, 2014

Argentina squad

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sabella to reduce the 30-player list today

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella talks to journalists.
By Gabriela Padín Losada
Herald Staff
Argentina national soccer team coach Alejandro Sabella said yesterday that he will reduce the 30-player list for the Brazil World Cup roster today but he avoided to specify neither name nor number of players he will sideline ahead of the tournament.

In spite of refusing to give more details about the short list names, Sabella said that he is doubtful about the number of defenders and midfielders that he will include in the 23-player final list.

Sabella, who participated yesterday at a World Cup main sponsor’s launch campaign ceremony at La Rural in Palermo neighbourhood, added that 30 players are a huge number to start training so he will cut this list today. “The players in contention for the short list will be less than 30 and more than 23 from tomorrow (today),” joked Sabella.

Manchester United defender Martín Demichelis was the most stunning call-up of the 30-player list and, according to Sabella’s quotes, he will not be sidelined today and may be in the final squad.

“Martín (Demichelis) had a great season in a very competitive league. I was nearly obliged to include him in the first roster. He is also a kind person and may be in the short list,” said the coach.

He also apologized for not thanking all the players who took part of the process in the ceremony in which he named the list on May 13. “This team was born in Barranquilla (referring to the World Cup qualifier 2-1 away victory over Colombia) and many of the players who were fielded in that match are out of the current team and must be thanked for helping to create the spirit of this national team. ‘Nico’ Burdisso, the ‘Chavo’ (Desábato) the ’Chapu’ (Braña) and (Pablo) Guiñazú along with Sebastián Domínguez deserve to be thanked.”

Sabella reinforced his decision of naming Lionel Messi as captain. “I was recommended to name Messi as captain during a press conference. I agreed with the journalist and talked with Messi and (former captain Javier) Mascherano about the issue. I asked them to reach an agreement and they later decided to back my suggestion.”

He was asked about the round robin stage rivals. “They are three very different teams. Bosnia is a team which keeps its style of play whether it is losing or winning and it is very important to win the opener to keep the team confident. The second match is against Iran, which is a defensive team as well as Nigeria, our last group stage rival.”

With 22 days to go before the World Cup opening match between Brazil and Croatia, Argentina’s squad will be closer to definition when Sabella pulls out three or four players today. The final list must be announced before June 2. Sabella also avoided to specify when the short list will be named. Fans have to wait.

@gpadinlosada

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