Friday, May 14, 2010

The World Cup Silly Season Continues: Surprise Selections (and other news) from Group B -- Argentina, Nigeria, South Korea, and Greece

The same caveats as before: We're in the silly season, when pundits overanalyze everything pertaining to the World Cup. Still, let's join the throngs and look at the surprise developments (if any) with squad selection and other matters with Group B - Argentina, Nigeria, South Korea, and Greece.

In the predicted order of finish:


This World Cup's longest-running soap opera continues with the team selections from manager, former superstar, and a man who once claimed that the Pope disrespected him - Diego Maradona. Maradona, of course, went through 78 players in qualification, bizarrely selecting players who hadn't appeared on the team sheet in years and dropping superstars like hotcakes. So, it's probably not a surprise at all that when the squad announcement was made earlier this week, Maradona had dropped two mainstays of both this squad and Champions League finalist Inter Milan - namely defender Javier Zanetti and midfielder Esteban Cambiasso - not to mention Marseille's Lucho "Commander" Gonzalez and Real Madrid's Fernando Gago. Meanwhile, it looks like the defenders at the back who will play are all central defenders, meaning some folks will be playing out of their usual position. Who made it? Well besides the obvious names (Messi, Mascherano, Tevez, etc.) there's Ariel Garce, the Colon defender who supposedly impressed Maradona against Haiti, not that it's that difficult to look good against the Haitians. Then there's midfielder Juan Mercier of Newell's Old Boys - another superstar when Haitians are the opposition - and the Lanus midfielder Sebastian Blanco. Not exactly household names, though Juan Sebastian Veron is, even though he's 35 and over the hill.

For more, read here:

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