Tuesday, May 16, 2006

ARGENTINA WORLD CUP SQUAD ANNOUNCED; MAJOR SHAKEUP IN POLISH SQUAD

Argentina coach Jose Pekerman announced the remaining players going to Germany for the World Cup Finals in addition to retaining the 16 players he had named originally, which included the likes of Gabriel Heinze and Lionel Messi, both recovering from injury. Shockingly, veteran wingback Javier Zanetti (Internazionale) has been left out of the squad, with Lionel Scaloni (on loan at West Ham from Deprtivo La Coruna) going to Germany. After a good season at Sevilla, Javier Saviola finds himself back in the national team. The last time he played a string of games together for the national team was at the FIFA Confederations Cup, the only time in the last 2 years.
Elsewhere, the Italian and Portuguese squads were unveiled. No major shocks in the Portuguese side. As for the Azzuri, Pippo Inzaghi capped a superb run of form since his comeback from injury with a call up to the World Cup squad. Morgan De Sanctis (Udinese) has lost his place as third choice goalkeeper to the in-form Marco Amelia (Livorno).
The Polish squad has undergone a major shakeup. Liverpool 'keeper Jerzy Dudek, second choice to Pepe Reina at Anfield, now finds himself out of the national team. Other high profile casualties include Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Tomasz Frankowski who had top scored for Poland in qualifying, former captain Tomasz Klos and full-back Tomasz Rzasa. West Brom's Tomasz Kuszcak looks likely to be moved up to second choice 'keeper for the Poles.

The full squad lists are available at the following Wikipedia link, with FIFA publishing the squad lists only after 18th May.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_FIFA_World_Cup_%28squads%29

Elsewhere, rumours abound that Xabi Alonso has not made it to the Spanish squad, but according to most reliable sources, the squad announced by Luis Arragones does feature the Liverpool midfielder. All such rumours shall be cleared up when the squad lists are published by FIFA in 2 days time.

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