Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Messi bends it for Dynamo Kiev

Messi puts the exclamation mark to his Balon de Oro prize with a bending free kick to win the game against Dynamo Kiev.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekend Highlights: Messi, Tevez, Lisandro Lopez, Higuain

This weekend’s highlights include several game winning goals from the usual suspects ,as well as, a hat trick from Lisando Lopez.

Lisandro Lopez’s hat trick against Lille was very impressive but unfortunately not enough to win the game. He continues to prove why he is considered by many the best player in France.

Messi continues to prove why he deserved the Balon de Oro with two goals against Deportivo La Coruna for a 3-1 win.

Tevez once again came up big with a a stunning free kick to win a huge game against Chelsea. It is just amazing how Tevez always finds a way to win when it counts the most.

Gonzalo Higuain also added his contribution to Real Madrid's 4-2 win over Almeria.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Diego Perotti gets called up by Maradona

Diego Perotti has been called up in a last minute request to Sevilla for Argentina’s friendly with Spain this Saturday. As soon as Maradona realized that Jonas Gutierrez & El Kun Aguerro would not be available he made the SOS call for the young 21 year old Perotti. It appears Maradonna has had his eye on Perotti since the beginning of the Season which doesn’t surprise me given that Perotti has been a outstanding asset with his 2 goals, 1 assist. His very aggressive offensive style has helped position Sevilla in 3rd place right behind Real Madrid. He has total command of the left wing but can play other key offensive midfield positions very much a la KAKA.

Hernan Crespo keeps scoring goals

Crespo continues to produce for Genoa with two great goals containing his classic signature style. His two goals were critical in Genoa’s 4-2 win over Siena. He seems quite hopeful that Maradona will keep him in mind for one of Argentina’s key striker positions. See all the goals in the clip below.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Martin Palermo: Maradona calls up the big man

It seems the big man veteran striker Martin Palermo from Boca Juniors will get his long awaited chance of playing in one of the most important games in recent decades. It seems he has has already won the trust of Maradona and the hearts of the Argentine public to win a spot next to Messi in the Argentine attack. He performed spectacularly in the warm-up friendly against Ghana with two goals and yesterday he had a 40 meter opportunistic header that has been televised globally.

Palermo's recent actions plus the fact that Maradona has decided to replicate Barcelona's formula of Messi / Ibrahimovic seems to indicate this very likely line-up. It is also quite obvious that Maradona's strategy of concentrating the diminutive play-maker strikers of Aguero, Tevez & Messi has not lived up to its hype. I say give the Big Man a chance. See his recent goals below:

Palermo against Ghana

Palermo's Spectacular 40m Header:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Javier Saviola is back on the radar

It appears Saviola has finally found a happy home with Portugal's Benfica after many years of disenchantment with various European clubs. This season he joined the other two Argentine players Pablo Aimar & the youthful Angel DiMaria to form a very effective trident. He has already score 4 times in 7 appearances for Benefica thus becoming a house favorite. Let's see if he gets on Maradona's radar and possibly back on the national team.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Argentina Vs Paraguay - Maradona's last chance

Argentina needs a big win today to have a chance at world cup qualification and for Maradona to remain as the coach.

As for Maradona's coaching, it is pretty obvious that the Messi, Aguero & Tevez combinations have not been very productive in terms of goals. The only good change he has done so far is let Jesus Datolo play as his wingman.

I still think he is not using his squad to its full potential. For example, Maradona has Lisandro Lopez, who at this moment is one of the most productive strikers in Europe sitting one the bench. Would it really hurt the team to give him a chance. In the last friendly against Russia, Lisandro scored immediately after entering the game. Come on Maradona put Lisandro in the game - You won't regret it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lisandro Lopez is Pure Goal

Lisandro Lopez showed off for his new team of Lyon & Maradona yesterday with a hat trick against Anderlecht. Before his call up to the Argentine national team, he was probably one of the most underrated top strikers in Europe while he played for the Portuguese champions of Porto. Now he has Europe's & Maradona's full attention and he is not wasting any time. He has proven to have immediate impact early in the game producing important goals. I think his chances of starting against Brazil is rapidly increasing. Lets hope Maradona doesn't ignore this talent and lets him show off some more.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Gonzalo Higuain: keeps proving his worth

In Real Madrid's 3-0 win against DC United (MLS league USA)- It was the 21 yr old, Gonzalo Higuain that scored with flair not Cristiano Ronaldo or Kaka. Hopefully, Maradona is paying attention to this very talented striker who deserves a chance to play for the Argentine national team.

Transfer Price paid by Real Madrid
£80m for Cristiano Ronaldo
£56m for Kaka
£13m for Higuain

Argentina Vs Russia - Statistics

Argentina's record against Russia (most games were with USSR)

Won: 3
Lost: 2
Tied: 6
Total games played = 11

Go to AFA's website for a detailed description of all the games Argentina & Russia have played through out history. It includes all the players names and goal scorers.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Argentina Vs Russia Friendly - Maradona selects his team

Maradona selects his team for the August 12 frindly against Russia. Maradona is not very keen on going to Russia but will make the best of it. The two new faces to the call up are Jesus Datolo of Napoli. This ex-Boca wing man does his best work on the left. The other face is the central midfielder Mario Bolatti who was considered the top player of the 2009 Argentine 1st Division playing for Huracan (runner up to the champs Velez).

Juan Pablo Carrizo (Zaragoza – Spain)
Mariano Andújar (Catania – Italy)
Javier Zanetti (Inter – Italy)
Emiliano Papa (Vélez Sársfield – Argentina)
Gabriel Heinze (Real Madrid – Spain)
Daniel Díaz (Getafe – Spain)
Nicolás Burdisso (Internazionale – Italy)
Nicolás Otamendi (Vélez Sársfield – Argentina)
Martín Demichelis (Bayern Munich – Germany)
Javier Mascherano (Liverpool – UK)
Fernando Gago (Real Madrid – Spain)
Sebastian Battaglia (Boca Juniors – Argentina)
Mario Bolatti (Huracán – Argentina)
Maximiliano Rodríguez (Atlético Madrid – Spain)
Jonás Gutiérrez (Newcastle United – UK)
Jesús Dátolo (Napoli – Italy)
Juan Sebastián Verón (Estudiantes – Argentina)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona – Spain)
Sergio Agüero (Atlético Madrid – Spain)
Carlos Tevez (Manchester City – UK)
Lisandro López (Olympique Lyonnais – Francia)
Diego Milito (Internazionale – Italy)
Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli – Italy).

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Argentine Soccer Players: Transfers & Rumors 2009/2010 season

It seems like the summer transfer window is opening up for the 2009/2010 season. Below are some major confirmed transfer & rumors that are in the works for high profile Argentine players.


Eduardo Salvio (Striker - Lanus, Arg) >>> Fiorentina
Gabriel Heinze (Defender - Real Madrid, Spain) >>> Olympique de Marseille
Lucho Gonzalez (Midfielder - Porto, Portugal) >>> Olympique de Marseille
Sebastián Prediger (Midfielder - Colon, Arg) >>> FC Porto, Portugal
Daniel Montenegro (Midfielder - Independiente, Arg) >>> Club America, Mexico
Diego Valeri (Midfielder - Lanus, Arg) >>> FC Porto, Portugal
Rodigo Palacio (Forward - Boca Juniors) >>> Genoa, Italy
Carlos Tevez (Forward - Manchester United) >>> Manchester City
Lisandro Lopez (Forward - Porto, Portugal) >>> Lyon, France
Lucho Gonzalez (Midfielder - Porto) >>> Marseille, France
Emanuel Villa (Forward - Derby, UK) >>> Cruz Azul, Mexico
Diego Milito (Forward - Genoa, Italy) >>> Inter Milan
Lucio Filomeno(Forward - Asteras Tripolis, Greece) >>> PAOK
Franco Zuculini (Midfielder - Racing, Arg.) >>> Hoffenheim, Ger
Jose Shaffer (Defender-Racing, Arg.) >>> Benefica, Portugal
Javier Saviola (Forward - Real Madrid, Spain) >>> Benefica, Portugal
Mariano Andujar (Goalie - Estudiantes, Arg.) >>> Catania, Italy
Hernan Crespo (Forward - Inter Milan, Italy) >>> Genoa, Italy
Lucas Viatri (Forward - Boca Juniors, Arg.) >>> Siena, Italy
Fabián Vargas (Midfielder - Boca Juniors, Arg.) >>> Almeria, Spain
Leandro Gracián (Midfielder - Boca Juniors, Arg.) >>> Aris Salónica, Greece
Luciano Figueroa (Forward - Boca Juniors, Arg.) >>> Genoa, Italy

-------Close to Confirmation-------


Matias De Federico (Foward - Huracan, Arg.) >>> Liverpool
Sergio Aguero (Foward - Atletico Madrid, Spain) >>> Manchester United -OR- Chelsea
Jonas Gutierrez (Midfielder - Newcastle) >>> Fulham
Maxi Rodriguez Midfielder - Atletico Madrid, Spain) >>> Tottenham, UK
Javier Mascherano (Midfielder - Liverpool, UK) >>> Barcelona, Spain
Julio Cruz (Forward - Inter Milan, Italy) >>> Napoli, Italy
Ezequiel Lavezzi (Forward - Napoli, Italy >>> Liverpool, UK
Juan Carrizo (Goalie - Lazio, Italy) >>> Real Zaragoza, Spain

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Estudiantes Vs Defensor Sporting - The only Argentinian team left in the Copa Libertadores

Tomorrow, Estudiantes led by the legendary Juan Sebastian Veron, will fight it out in the quarterfinals of the Copa Libertadores against the Uruguayian team, Defensor Sporting. Estudiantes, currently in sixth place of Argentina's first division managed to stay alive in this popular south American cup.

The team's most accomplished player, Juan Sebastian Veron has been on top of his game since his return to Argentina in 2006. This led Maradona to add him to the national team at the age of 34. In addition to Veron, they also have the national team's goalie, Mariano Andujar. This will probably be his last appearance for the team before he goes off to his new team, Catania in Italy's Serie A. There is also the defender, Marcos Angeleri who is also part of Maradona's top picks. As for their striking power, they have Mauro Boselli who is their top scorer this year with 8 goals / 1 assist.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Argentina Vs Ecuador - New team formation in the works

After their uneventful win against Colombia, Maradona is looking for new ideas and combinations for the High altitude game against Ecuador this Wednesday. The team might even be unrecognizable - There is also a very good possibility that Messi will not play due to a Yellow card that he received in a previous game which could jeopardize the next game against Brazil. Other key players, Mascherano (team captain) & Aguero will definitely not be present due to cards and injuries.

Based on the last major training session in Buenos Aires, it was basically the B-Team that was on the field playing the scrimmage game against the practice team (Tristan Suarez's Club youth team).

Possible Players Against Ecuador:
Juan Pablo Carrizo, Javier Zanetti,Juan Forlín Nicolás Burdisso, Nicolás Otamendi, Emiliano Papa, Maximiliano Rodríguez, Cristian Giménez, Sebastián Battaglia, Fernando Gago, daniel Montenegro, Lisandro López y Gonzalo Bergessio.

As for the high elevation, I don't think Maradona has done enough to prepare his team for the high altitude conditions of Quito, which is approx. 10,000 ft above sea level. In my opinion, he should have flown out on Sunday, enabling his team to have a full training session in altitude. This would've given his players a better feel for the environment and extra time to acclimatize.

The one advantage that Argentina has against Ecuador is history. Argentina has won most of their previous engagements. AFA put together some great stats of Argentina's playing history against Ecuador which is a must see for all stat hungry fans. Click Here for the AFA stats

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Argentina squeaks by with a 1-0 victory over Colombia

Argentina got very lucky today when their defender, Cata Diaz scored a spectacular one-touch goal. The main stars of today's game were all defenders - The new goalie, Mariano Andujar had several brilliant saves which gave the fans a sense of great relief once the game started to go Colombia's way.

Argentina's midfield could not control the ball thus disorienting the team and it's offensive strategy. Hopefully, the defenders stepped up to save the day. Maradona will most likely take a hard look at the midfield to see how he can produce a more fluid style of play against Ecuador on Wednesday.

Today's Standout players:
Cata Diaz - Scored the only goal

Mariano Andujar - Saved every shot on goal

Carlos Tevez - Hustled the entire game.

ARGENTINA: Mariano Andujar, Daniel Diaz, Martin Demichelis, Gabriel Heinze, Fernando Gago (Javier Zanetti, 45), Javier Mascherano, Jonas Gutierrez, Juan Sebastian Veron, Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, (Nicolas Burdisso, 84), Sergio Aguero (Diego Milito, 40).

COLOMBIA: David Ospina, Luis Amaranto Perea, Cristian Zapata, Mario Alberto Yepes, Pablo Armero (Carlos Daarwin Quinteros, 81), Camilo Zuniga, Fabian Vargas, Freddy Guarin, Vladimir Marin (Adrian Ramos, 65), Wason Renteria, Radamel Falcao (Hugo Rodallega, 72).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Toulon Tournament Under-21 (Argentina Vs Holland)

Argentina's under-21 team headed by the ex-1986 world cup team member Batista (Checho) is playing in the Toulon Tournament. The team is made up of Argentina's top under-21 prospects. The first game was played yesterday and they managed to pull off a 4-0 victory against Holland. Tomorrow they will test themselves against Egypt.

Historically speaking, the guys included in the sub 20/21 teams are the next hottest prospects where the next round of superstars get spotted.

The 4 goals came from:
Franco Jara
Diego Perotti
Ever Banega
Diego Buonanotte

See the Game Highlights

Official site of the Toulon Tournament

Team against Holland:
Agustín Marchesín
Leandro Marín
Germán Pezzela (31' Sub, Leandro González Pirez)
Hugo Nervo
Lucas Kruspky
Santiago Galucci
Ever Banega
Alejandro Gómez (26' Sub, Diego Cardozo)
Diego Buonanotte
Franco Jara (28' Sub, Mauro Díaz)
Diego Perotti

Esteban Andrada
Esteban Espíndola
Lucas Trecarichi
Germán Pacheco
David Achucarro
Gerardo Bruma

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Messi, Tevez, & Aguero will be most likely play against Colombia

It appears Maradona will play the wonder trio of Messi, Tevez & Aguero against Colombia this Saturday. For one, they were seen playing together in today's practice session at their Ezieza airport training center in Buenos Aires. Another clue is Messi stating to the media that he loves to play along side Aguero & Tevez.

On the defensive end, there is a major change in the net - Maradona chose Mariano Andújar from Argentina's local team Estudiantes to be the goalie. It will be his first start as the national goalie.

Played in Today's Practice Session
Mariano Andújar (Estudiantes, Arg )
Daniel Díaz (Getafe, Spain)
Martín Demichelis (Bayern Munich, Germany)
Gabriel Heinze (Real Madrid, Spain)
Fernando Gago (Real Madrid, Spain)
Javier Mascherano (Liverpool, UK)
Jonás Gutiérrez (Newcastle, UK)
Juan Sebastián Verón (Estudiantes, Arg)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Spain)
Carlos Tevez (Manchester United, UK)
Sergio Agüero (Atlético de Madrid, Spain)

Finally, I wanted to share with you an interesting interview of Javier Zanetti by - This interview provides insights on the curent state of the national team.

Go to the interview of Javier Zanetti

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Argentina is packing a lot of Fire power going into the next round of qualifiers

One standout feature is the awesome firepower that Maradona is bringing with him. The strikers on this list have a combined 150 goals / 57 assists throughout the 2008/09 season.

*Total goals & assists from the 2008/09 season (includes league, cups, qualifiers, friendlies)

Maradona has selected the team that will face Colombia & Ecuador in the next round of world cup qualifiers (June 6 & 10).These next two games are extremely important since Argentina is only in 4th place. The team is a combination of 9 local and 17 international based players. The next two upcoming games are extremely important since Argentina is only in 4th place.

Players selected for the World Cup qualifiers against Colombia & Ecuador
Juan Pablo Carrizo (Lazio, Italia)
Mariano Andújar (Estudiantes LP)
Federico Vilar (Atlante, México)
Martín Demichelis (Bayern Munich, Alemania)
Emiliano Papa (Vélez Sársfield)
Gabriel Heinze (Real Madrid, España)
Marcos Angeleri (Estudiantes LP)
Javier Zanetti (Internazionale, Italia)
Daniel Díaz (Getafe, España)
Nicolás Burdisso (Internazionale, Italia)
Nicolás Otamendi (Vélez Sársfield)
Juan Forlín (Boca Juniors)
Javier Mascherano (Liverpool, Inglaterra)
Fernando Gago (Real Madrid, España)
Juan Sebastián Verón (Estudiantes LP)
Maximiliano Rodríguez (Atlético de Madrid, España)
Jonás Gutiérrez (Newcastle, Inglaterra)
Sebastián Battaglia (Boca Juniors)
Cristian Giménez (Pachuca, México)
Daniel Montenegro (Independiente)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona, España)
Carlos Tevez (Manchester United, Inglaterra)
Sergio Agüero (Atlético de Madrid, España)
Lisandro López (Porto, Portugal)
Diego Milito (Genoa, Italia)
Gonzalo Bergessio (San Lorenzo)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Argentina's domestic national team impresses coach & fans

Argentina's 3-1 victory in yesterday's friendly against Panama has given Maradona & Argentina some confidence going into the next round of qualifiers this June. The "local" national team, which consists exclusively of domestic player seemed like a risky gamble at first, but Maradona & the manager (Bilardo) felt like they needed to take drastic measures after their 6-1 defeat by Bolivia. It will be interesting to see what strategies they employ when it comes time to integrate the domestic players & international superstars like Messi, Tevez, Mascherano, etc. to form a truly integrated team.

Also, with all the exposure this domestic team is getting, I wouldn't be surprised if many of them end up in Europe during this summer's transfer window.

The standout players from the Panama friendly:

Gonzalo Bergessio - Had two superb goals. This 24 year old player scored his first goal with a great header and the second via a left footed shot.

Matías De Federico - Scored the first goal of the game.

Daniel Montenegro - Displayed his classic play-maker abilities by circulating the ball successfully and setting up Bergessio's second goal.

Argentine players who participated in the friendly:

Diego Pozo (72', Cristian Campestrini); Alexis Ferrero (67', Ignacio Canuto), Matías Caruzzo y Nicolás Otamendi; Eduardo Salvio (59', Sebastián Blanco), Hernán Bernardello (46', Leonardo Prediger), Fabián Rinaudo (58', Franco Zuculini) y Matías De Federico (46', Emiliano Papa); Daniel Montenegro (capitán); José Sand (46', Esteban Fuertes) y Gonzalo Bergessio.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Maradona's "Local" National Team

Maradona's new "local" national team, composed entirely of domestic players from Argentinas's tops clubs is ready to take on Panama (friendly) on May 20th and soon after the two important qualifiers against Ecuador & Colombia. The only major club not being represented in this "local team" is River Plate. It seems Maradona is really focusing on players who have been on recent hot streaks.

Below are the latest stats on the 28 players that have been called up by Maradona to play the 3 upcoming games:

Avg Height
Entire Team - 178cm - 5ft 8in
Midfielders - 174.6cm - 5ft 7in
Forwards - 180cm - 5ft 9in
Defenders - 177cm - 5ft 8in
Goalies - 188cm - 6ft 1in

Average Age:
Entire Team 24 yrs

Youngest Players:
Eduardo Salvio - 18 yrs
Franco Zuculini - 18 yrs
Ezequiel Muñoz - 18 yrs

Oldest Players
Juan Sebastian Veron - 34 yrs
Martín Palermo - 35 yrs
Esteban Fuertes - 36 yrs

Birth Place (by Province)
Buenos Aires: 46%
Santa Fe: 37%
Other (Corrientes, Cordoba, La Rioja, Mendoza, Entre Rios): 17%

Current Clubs (by country)
Argentina: 100%

Current Clubs Represented (# of players)
Boca Juniors 4
Colon 4
Velez Sarsfield 3
Estudiantes 3
Lanus 3
Argentinos Juniors 2
Newell's Old Boys 2
Arsenal de Sarandi 1
Gimnasia y Esgrima 1
Huracan 1
Independiente 1
Racing 1
Rosario Central 1
San Lorenzo 1

Most Common Zodiac Signs
Aries, Pisces & Leo 45%

Players (by position)
Eduardo Salvio - Forward
Martín Palermo - Forward
Milton Caraglio - Forward
Matías De Federico - Forward
Esteban Fuertes - Forward
Jose Sand - Forward
Gonzalo Bergessio - Forward
Mauro Formica - Forward
Franco Zuculini - Midfielder
Sebastian Prediger - Midfielder
Fabián Rinaudo - Midfielder
Sebastián Battaglia - Midfielder
Ignacio Canuto - Midfielder
Maximiliano Moralez - Midfielder
Juan Sebastian Veron - Midfielder
Sebastián Blanco - Midfielder
Hernán Bernardello - Midfielder
Daniel Montenegro - Midfielder
Juan Forlín - Defender
Ezequiel Muñoz - Defender
Matías Caruzzo - Defender
Alexis Ferrero - Defender
Emiliano Papa - Defender
Marcos Angeleri - Defender
Nicolás Otamendi - Defender
Mariano Andújar - Goalie
Cristian Campestrini - Goalie
Diego Pozo - Goalie

Click link to see them during today's training session in Buenos Aires

Sunday, May 3, 2009

This week's player standouts - Lionel Messi & Diego Milito

This weekend we saw some outstanding soccer from Lionel Messi (Barcelona) & Diego Milito (Genoa).

Lionel Messi:

Messi's performance against Real Madrid this weekend was pure artistry. He was the creative engine behind Barcelona's 6-2 win. The similarities with Maradona are becoming more apparent as he matures. As for the Argentine national team, his role as the #10 is sold as a rock.

Diego Milito:

Diego Milito scored a hat trick today for Genoa against Sampdoria. He showed his true striker qualities by finishing off three great goals. I think Maradona should keep Diego Milito high on his national team radar. Milito would give him the option of using the classic tall center forward or #9. This would be a nice complement to the #10 (Messi).

Sunday, April 26, 2009

This week's player standouts: Carlos Tevez, Lisandro Lopez, Gonzalo Higuaín, Sergio Aguero, Esquiel Lavezzi

Carlos Tevez (Manchester United):
Tevez had a tremendous impact in Manchester's 5-2 victory over Tottenham. He didn't score any goals but created a goal conducive environment during the second half once he substituted for Nani. All five goals came in the second half. What makes Tevez such a special player is his ability to switch from striker to playmaker whenever the need arises.

Lisandro Lopez (FC Porto):
Lisandro kept Porto at the head of the Portuguese league with two big goals in his 2-0 win over Setubal. This win gives Porto a four point over their closet rival Sporting.

Gonzalo Higuaín (Real Madrid)
Like Tevez, Higuain did not score today but he hustled for every ball and set up one of Raul's three goals in Real Madrid's 4-2 win over Sevilla.

Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid):
El Kun finally broke his goaless streak with a fantastic goal against Sporting Gijon which added to their 3-1 win.

Esquiel Lavezzi (Napoli):

Lavezzi set up the only goal of the game against the omnipotent Inter. Lavezzi attacked relentlessly making it difficult for Inter to deal with.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Maradona selects a new national team made up of local players

As expected, Maradona and his advisers decided to select a "local" national team consisting of the most talented domestic players. This will enable Maradona to train once week and prepare for the upcoming world qualifiers against Ecuador & Colombia. This shift in strategy proves how serious Maradona and AFA officials are on qualifying for South Africa next summer. For now, the only objective for the "local" team is to qualify - I will publish statistics on this new team in the very near future.

The "Local" National Team

Cristian Campestrini (Arsenal)

Mariano Andújar (Estudiantes de La Plata)

Marcos Angeleri (Estudiantes de La Plata)

Juan Verón (Estudiantes de La Plata)

Juan Forlín (Boca Juniors)

Ezequiel Muñoz (Boca Juniors)

Sebastian Battaglia (Boca Juniors)

Martín Palermo (Boca Juniors)

Nicolás Otamendi (Vélez Sarsfield)

Emiliano Papa (Vélez Sarsfield)

Maximiliano Moralez (Vélez Sarsfield)

Ignacio Canuto (Argentinos Juniors)

Matías Caruzzo (Argentinos Juniors)

Alexis Ferrero (Colón de Santa Fe)

Diego Pozo (Colón de Santa Fe)

Hernán Bernardello (Newell's Old Boys)

Mauro Formica (Newell's Old Boys)

Daniel Montenegro (Independiente)

Fabián Rinaudo (Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata)

José Sand (Lanús)

Sebastián Blanco (Lanús)

Eduardo Salvio (Lanús)

Gonzalo Bergessio (San Lorenzo de Almagro)

Franco Zuculini (Racing Club)

Matías De Federico (Huracán)

Milton Caraglio (Rosario Central)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

River Plate Vs Boca Juniors: A must see this Sunday (April 19 - 14:00 Est)

This Sunday, the two biggest rivals of Argentine soccer are going to battle it out in Boca Junior's home turf, La Bombonera. This event is also referred to as the "Super Classic" or "Superclasico" in Spanish. This is a definite must see for any one interested in Argentine soccer or soccer in general. It exposes the good the bad and the ugly of true soccer passions - You will get to experience authentic Argentine soccer style in its raw state.

The History of this rivalry goes back to the early 1900's and has intensified ever since. In addition, River has not won a game in their last four encounters -- You basically cannot add anymore wood to this fire.

There is an excellent article put out by FIFA called "All Eyes on Buenos Aires" that describes this rivalry very thoroughly, and I recommend reading it before watching the game tomorrow.

Players to watch closely:

River Plate:
Diego Buonanotte 30
Marcelo Gallardo 10

Boca Juniors:
Martín Palermo 9
Sebastián Battaglia 5
Juan Forlín 6
Ezequiel Muñoz 19
Juan Riquelme 10
Luciano Gabriel Figueroa 18

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Inter needs a striker: Carlos Tevez or Sergio Aguero?

With the news of Adriano, Inter's Brazilian striker on the way out, the odds of Sergio Aguero (El Kun) or Carlos Tevez (El Apache) going to Inter Milan this summer have just shot way up. There is also the fact that two other top strikers, the Argentine duo Julio Cruz (34 yrs) & Hernan Crespo (33 yrs.) are past there prime age. It is also no secret that Maradona has told both players at one time or another that they should go to Inter. Furthermore, there is the Argentine gang of players already making Inter their home. When you put all these factors together you really have to ask yourself the big question - Who will it be? El Kun or El Apache?

Monday, April 13, 2009

This Week's Game Highlights: Juan Veron, Gonzalo Higuaín, Mauro Zarate

This past week these 3 players had game winning impact for their teams:

Juan Veron (Estudiates, Arg) - Juan Veron did a splendid job circulating the ball during the important game against Cruzeiro of Brazil for the Copa Libertadores. It gave his team a 4-0 win - He even got a chance to sneak one in.

Gonzalo Higuaín (Real Madrid) - Had a fantastic assist for Raul in their 2-0 win against Marilyn Chambers.

Mauro Zarate (Lazio) - Had a long distant monster shot creating a spectacular goal in their 4-2 win against Roma.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Champions League quarter finals full of Argentine goals

The Champion League quarterfinals has been full of Argentine talent and goals. First we had Tevez's goal as a substitute against Porto. Then came Mariano Gonzalez's late goal equalizer for Porto againt Manu. Today we saw more Messi magic againt Bayern Munich with two great goals.

Champions League Teams in the Quarterfinals

Manchester United
Carlos Tevez - 1 goal

Lucho Gonzalez
Lisandro Lopez
Mariano Gonzalez - 1 goal

Messi - 2 goals

Bayern Munich
Martin Demichelis
José Ernesto Sosa

Javier Mascherano

Javier Gonzalo Rodriguez
Ariel Ibagaza

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Napoli interested in Ever Banega: looks to Inter as role model

With the possible signing of the clever defensive midfielder Ever Banega it appears Napoli along with its new coach Donandoni is looking to Argentine players to secure a successful future. This is a similar path Inter Milan took a few years ago when they acquired several high profile Argentine players (see below) all of which have been national team players. This strategy has surely worked for Inter as they continue being the undisputed powerhouse of the Italian league. Ever Banega would bring Napoli's Argentine player count to four the others (see below) are fairly new signings with the latest being Boca Junior's Jesus Datolo.

Ever Banega would bring much needed relief in Napoli's midfield with his defensive style which includes great ball control and tackling. He is from the same school as Fernando Redondo, Mascherano & Gago. Unfortunately Banega has not had much playing time since his arrival to Atletico Madrid via a loan from Valencia. I hope this changes when he goes to Napoli or any other team he ends up in. I also think he should be Gago's backup on Maradona's team just like he was for his ex-team Boca Juniors.

Inter's Argentine Players
Javier Zanetti
Nicolas Burdisso
Walter Samuel
Esteban Cambiasso
Julio Cruz
Hernan Crespo

Napoli's Argentine Players
Jesús Dátolo
Ezequiel Lavezzi
Germán Denis

Ever Banega Compilation

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Back to square one for Maradona

After Argentina's historic loss to Bolivia, Maradona will have to re access his strategy & players when playing in high altitude locations. In Bolivia, he completely underestimated the forces of nature and the soccer abilities of the Bolivians. He, however, will soon get a chance to redeem himself when they play Ecuador on June 10th in Quito (2,850 m/9,350 ft) the second highest capital city after La Paz, Bolivia. I agree with Maradona that high altitude soccer should not be banned. It is just one extreme condition out of many such as high heat/humidity or extreme cold that one needs to prepare for. What really annoys me is the lack of mental and physical preparation the team had going into this game - After this horrific loss in altitude, I think Maradona will look very closely at the strategy used by the "Ghost Team" of coach Enrique Omar Sívori in 1973 (Qualifiers for Germany 1974). Basically, Sivori selected a young team of domestic players and had them train secretly in Argentina's high altitiude city of Tilcara (Jujuy province - 2500 m/8,200 ft)
There they trained 40+ days until the day of the game where they were joined by a few other high profile players. The outcome of that game was a 1-0 victory for Argentina.

1974 National Team

I will keep a close eye on any new players he might considering or should consider integrating to the national team.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Argentina Vs Bolivia: High elevation will be a factor

Argentina will soon take on Bolivia in Bolivia's high altitude capital city of La Paz at nearly 12,000 feet of altitude. Most International teams never have to subject their teams to these extreme conditions which can cause hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and a multitude of related ailments. FIFA even tried to ban international games from being played in ultra-high altitude stadiums located in Bolivia, Peru, & Colombia in 2007 but eventually retracted due to public outcry from these nations.
In my last trip to Argentina, I took an excursion to the Andian region of Mendoza at an elevation of 10,000 ft. I remember feeling short of breath and extremely lethargic just by walking.

Given all we know about the effects of high altitude, I think Maradona should've given his team more time to acclimate to the high elevation before Wednesday's game which is only 2 days away. The team is actually flying to Santa Cruz de la Sierra tomorrow which is in the low-land area of Bolivia (1,365 ft). The team will not get to La Paz (12,000 ft) until the day of the game. These conditions will definitely slow the pace of the game and will be a key factor on the formation and players Maradona will choose.

Argentina's Record in La Paz, Bolivia:

Won 3 games - Lost 3 games - Tied 1 game

1957 (Qualifiers for Sweden 1958) - Lost 2-0
1965 (Qualifiers for England 1966)- Won 2-1
1969 (Qualifiers for Mexico 1970) - Lost 3-1
1973 (Qualifiers for Germany 1974 - Won 1-0
1997 (Qualifiers for France 1998) - Lost 1-2
2001 (Qualifiers for Japan/Korea 2002) - Tied 3-3
2005 (Qualifiers for Germany 2006) - Won 2-1

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Maradona's Ultra Offensive Strategy Produced Goals

Yesterday's game against Venezuela produced four 1st class goals from Messi, Tevez, Maxi, & Aguero. The line-up that I posted the day before only had one change which was to have Zanetti on Defence. This change demonstrates how determined Maradona was to make this a purely attacking team since Zanetti is known for his ability to hold the ball and switch to an attacking role when necessary. Messi wore the number 10 and made it proud by scoring and setting up goals. The important thing is that a new team has been officially consecrated in this new era which I have full confidence in. Thanks again Maradona.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Maradona's Line-up Against Venezuela

According to the Argentine media, it appears Maradona is preparing an all-front assault on Venezuela by placing his biggest guns (Messi, Aguero, & Tevez) on the front line. Most practice sessions have included a 3-4-3 formation (see below). Mascherano & Gago will be in charge of circulating the ball & controlling the mid-field which is a crucial element to the Argentine formula. If this formation does play on Saturday it will be a true test as to whether this super trio can jive together and produce goals.

Probable Team Against Venezuela (Click player for Stats)

Tevez ---------- Aguero ---------- Messi

Guiterrez - Mascherano - Gago - Rodriguez

Heinze ---------- Diaz ---------- Angeleri


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Argentina's National Team Statistics

Here are some interesting team statistics that I have compiled from primary club sites and notable news sources.

Average Height Metric (U.S.)
Entire Team: 179 cm (5ft 9in)
Midfielders: 179 cm (5ft 9in)
Forwards: 173.5 cm (5 ft 7in)
Defenders: 180 cm (5ft 9in)
Goalies: 187 cm (6ft 1in)

Average Age of Team
Entire Team: 26 yrs

Youngest Players
Juan Forlin: 20 yrs
Sergio Aguero: 20 yrs

Oldest Players
Javier Zanetti: 35 yrs
Juan Sebastian Veron: 34 yrs

Birth Place (by Province)
Buenos Aires: 50%
Santa Fe: 40%
Other (Catamarca, Cordoba, Entre Rios): 10%

Current Clubs (by Country)
Argentina: 27%
Italy: 20%
Portugal: 12%
Spain: 23%
UK: 12%
Other (Germany, Mexico): 6%

Current Clubs (by Region)
America: 30%
Europe: 70%

Most Common Zodiac Signs
Aries & Gemini: 42%

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Argentina's National Team list for World Cup Qualifiers

Maradona submitted his much anticipated sqaud list for the next two qualifing games with Venezuela & Bolivia. Two brand new faces on Maradona's list are Federico Vilar, goalie for Atlante of Mexico (32 yrs. old) & Juan Forlín, defender for Boca Juniors.

I hope to have Information profiles for all of these players by next week - So stay tuned.

The Official Squad list for Argentina (AFA's Website)

Lionel Messi (Barcelona, ESP), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid, ESP), Carlos Tevez (Manchester United, GBR), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli, ITA), Lisandro Lopez (Porto, POR), Diego Milito (Genoa, ITA).

Fernando Gago (Real Madrid, ESP), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool, GBR), Maxi Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid, ESP), Luis Gonzalez (Porto, POR), Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle United, GBR), Angel Di María (Benfica, POR), Sebastian Battaglia (Boca Juniors), Juan Sebastian Veron (Estudiantes), Daniel Montenegro (Independiente)

Martín Demichelis (Bayern Munich, GER), Gabrel Heinze (Real Madrid, ESP), Javier Zanetti, Walter Samuel (Inter, ITA), Daniel Diaz (Getafe, ESP), Juan Forlin (Boca Juniors), Emiliano Papa (Velez Sarsfield), Marcos Angeleri (Estudiantes)

Juan Pablo Carrizo (Lazio, ITA), Mariano Andujar (Estudiantes), Federico Vilar (Atlante, MEX)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Riquelme Says No to Maradona - Drops out of the National Team

Today Juan Roman Riquelme, the quintessential #10 (play-maker) for Argentina's national team decided to drop out of the national team for the second time due to irreconcilable differences with Maradona. It appears that Riquelme heard critical comments from Maradona about his current playing form and what he expected from him for a successful team. Riquelme most likely saw the writing on the wall and felt Maradona was not going to be very supportive of him. Like all great fighters he decided to go on his own terms. This doesn't come as a surprise for me since Maradona has consistently told all prospective players that they need to be on top of their game, as well as, in excellent physical condition to be called up and/or make the first team. Riquleme doesn't seem to fit Maradona's vision of a younger, faster, and hungrier team that can capitalize on its flair and creativity with Messi taking on a more important role. It will be sad to see Riquelme gone because he still is an exceptional player with unique skills and style - Till this day no one can hold on to a ball like Riquelme.

See a compilation of Riquelme in action on Youtube

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Apache Tevez Finally Gets to Play a Full Game

Tevez finally gets the call from Fergie and boy did he make the best of it. He scored two crucial first half goals which facilited Manu's 4-0 win over Fulham. Tevez with this performance said to all future prospective teams that he is the real deal capable making club dreams come true. I don't think Fergie wanted Tevez to shine so brigthly today since it is going to make Tevez's departure from Manu much more difficult to explain to the Manu fans. One thing is certain, Tevez's stock price soared today.

Manchester United 4- Fulham 0 (See Video Highlights on Youtube)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

"El Kun" Aguero & Messi Show Off Their Ball Magic

"El Kun" Aguero (Atletico de Madrid) & Messi (Barcelona) battled it out in today's Sunday duel. Both had a brilliant game with Aguero's team sneaking in a victory with an unusual Messi style left footed kick. I'm sure Maradona was watching this game real close since Atletico had not yet won a game in 2009. This performance has locked in El Kun's role on the national team which he rightly deserves. It also doesn't hurt to have Maradona as your son's grandfather. In any case, after today's performance any doubts I had of him have been completely erased.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tevez has to be on the first team or else.....

Tevez is still waiting to know his status with MANU. It's not enough that he helped them win last years Premiership & Champions league. It is as if Fergie is trying to purposely depress his worth by keeping him on the reserve list. Fortunately for Tevez, this will not work since he always creates opportunities every second he’s on the field. Plus he has already proven himself on all the teams (Boca Juniors, Corinthians, West Ham, MANU) he has played for. I hope where ever he ends they just let him do his thing and let him play his heart out.

Tevez's Major Titles
Team - Cup Title
Boca Juniors - Copa Libertadores - 2003
Boca Juniors - Copa Intercontinental - 2003
Boca Juniors - Argentine Apertura - 2003
Boca Juniors - Copa Sudamericana - 2004
National Team - Athens Olympic Gold - 2004
Corinthians - Campeonato Brasileiro - 2005
Manchester United - Premiership - 2008
Manchester United - Champions League - 2008

Click this Youtube link for a great Tevez compilation

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Maradona - Hail to the Chief

Argentina 2 - France 0

Maradona is off to an awesome start as head coach. The team was off to a shakey start with unusually low ball possesion but after the sniper shot by Jonás Gutiérrez (23) the team managed to settle down. Messi did his thing with his magical abilities and Carlos Tevez had an immidiate impact after he subed for Aguero setting up Messi for his awesome goal. When Maxi Rodriguez & El Kun Aguero came off the field to be subed Maradona kissed them as a father would - So inspirational. I think Maradona is going to keep tweaking his formula but the main cast is set. However, Riquelme and maybe Veron will definitley get their chance. There is also exciting talent like Ezequiel Lavezzi and German Denis that need to get their shot. I also can't leave out the new goalie Juan Carrizo. He was a solid rock with magnets as hands.

What an exiting time to be an Argentine Soccer Fan...........