World Cup 2010: Argentina Squad - Maradona Announces Final 23-Man Roster

Inter star Diego Milito makes the final 23.
According to the Argentinian news agency Telam, Diego Maradona has settled on his final 23-man squad for this summer's FIFA World Cup in South Africa and the biggest surprise came with the inclusion of Inter forward Diego Milito.

Despite Milito’s breathtaking form for Inter this season, leaving the club on the verge of a historic treble, the 30-year-old looked unlikely to make the cut. With Maradona thought to have already decided to take five forwards to South Africa, it was widely thought amongst the Argentinian media that Milto would miss out in favor of Boca Juniors veteran Martin Palermo. However, in typically erratic fashion, Maradona has pulled a U-turn and elected to take the Inter man to South Africa after all.

Elsewhere, there will be relieved looks on the faces of Colon defender Ariel Garce and especially Palermo midfielder Javier Pastore. The 20-year-old has enjoyed an impressive season in Serie A for the Rosanero but is yet to earn a single cap for his country (his one appearance in an Argentina shirt came in the friendly with Catalonia and was not recognized by FIFA).

On-loan Liverpool midfielder Maxi Rodriguez will also breathe a sigh of relief. For much of the year, the Atletico Madrid man looked certain to miss and will feel vindicated in his decision to find more first-team action at Anfield.

The players cut from Maradona’s original list of 30 are Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli) Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle) Jesus Datolo (Olympiacos), Jose Sosa (Estudiantes), Juan Mercier (Argentinos), Sebastian Blanco (Lanus) and Juan Insaurralde (Newell’s).

Of those unlucky seven, Olympiacos winger Jesus Datolo will probably feel most unfortunate to lose his seat on the plane. The former Boca star, on-loan from Napoli, consistently impressed when called upon by Maradona, scoring a marvellous goal against Brazil in qualification and grabbing one against Russia in a friendly match in Moscow.

Argentina's 23-man World Cup squad in full


Goalkeepers -
Sergio Romero AZ Alkmaar (NED)
Mariano Andujar Catania (ITA)
Diego Pozo Colon
Defenders -
Nicolas Otamendi Velez Sarsfield
Gabriel Heinze Marseille (FRA)
Martin Demichelis Bayern Munich (GER)
Walter Samuel Inter (ITA)
Ariel Garce Colon
Nicolas Burdisso Roma (ITA)
Clemente Rodríguez Estudiantes
Midfielders -
Juan Sebastian Veron Estudiantes
Javier Mascherano Liverpool (ENG)
Jonas Gutierrez Newcastle (ENG)
Angel Di Maria Benfica (POR)
Maximiliano Rodriguez Liverpool (ENG)
Javier Pastore Palermo (ITA)
Mario Bolatti Fiorentina (TA)
Forwards -
Lionel Messi Barcelona (ESP)
Gonzalo Higuain Real Madrid (ESP)
Carlos Tevez Manchester City (ENG)
Sergio Aguero Atletico Madrid (ESP)
Diego Milito Inter (ITA)
Martin Palermo Boca Juniors

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