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 favour 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 recognised 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
|Sergio Romero||AZ Alkmaar (NED)|
|Mariano Andujar||Catania (ITA)|
|Nicolas Otamendi||Velez Sarsfield|
|Gabriel Heinze||Marseille (FRA)|
|Martin Demichelis||Bayern Munich (GER)|
|Walter Samuel||Inter (ITA)|
|Nicolas Burdisso||Roma (ITA)|
|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)|
|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|