The Argentine team for the World Cup 2010, one can say, typifies the definition of a slightly imperfect woman. Too much in the front, too little at the back. Although too little at the back will perhaps be an insult to Inter Milan's Walter Samuel who's been rock solid all through the season as his team completed the domestic double and followed it up with Europe's biggest prize on offer.
But one simply cannot fail to appreciate the wealth of options that Argentina have when it comes to forward players. There is the toast of football lovers today, Barcelona's little genius, Lionel Messi, Real Madrid's top scorer Gonzalo Higuain, Manchester City's wild livewire, el apache, Carlos Tevez and Maradona's own son-in-law and reportedly 50 million GBP rated Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero. These forwards become furthermore lethal when their abilities coincide with the experience of veterans such as Inter Milan's Diego Milito and Martin Palermo of Boca Juniors.
Maradona was criticized for leaving out two European champions Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso for the World Cup 2010, despite running on all cylinders the whole season and winning every competition their club entered into this season, while putting in stellar individual performances themselves. But when one looks at the Argentine midfield, it is littered with wealth, having likes of captain Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez of Liverpool, Benfica's Angel Di Maria, and even the mercurial Juan Sebastian Veron, who after a long European journey with several stops, which included Manchester United and Chelsea, has finally settled down at the Argentine club, Estudiantes.
Including Gabriel Heinze of Marseille means that Maradona has a player who can work well both at center back and left back. With the first center back spot permanently sealed with Walter Samuel stamping his authority on it in no uncertain manner, the second one most probably will be offered to the slightly error prone Martin Demichelis of Bayern Munich. Nicolas Burdisso of AS Roma is another utility player up Diego Maradona's sleeve who can occupy almost any defensive position with utmost ease. Barcelona's Gabriel Milito, younger sibling of forward Diego Milito, on the other hand will be watching the World Cup 2010 on TV.
Final 23 for the World Cup 2010
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Diego Pozo (Colon)
Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Velez Sarsfield), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich), Walter Samuel (Inter Milan), Gabriel Heinze (Marseille), Nicolas Burdisso (AS Roma), Clemente Rodriguez (Estudiantes), Ariel Garce (Colon)
Midfielders: Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle), Maximiliano Rodriguez (Liverpool), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Juan Sebastian Veron (Estudiantes), Angel Di Maria (Benfica), Javier Pastore (Palermo), Mario Bolatti (Fiorentina)
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Diego Milito (Inter Milan), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City)
So Diego Maradona would do well to play to his strengths and attack the opposition menacingly at the World Cup 2010, the way only his players can. If the players fire on all cylinders, there is really nothing stopping the biancoceleste from winning the biggest prize in football for the third time!