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Oct 31, 2009

Maradona calls on Cambiasso for first time

Inter Milan midfielder Esteban Cambiasso was called up by Diego Maradona for the first time when he was included in a 19-man Argentina squad for the November 14 friendly against European champions Spain at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid.

In a squad made up entirely of players with European clubs, Cristian Ansaldi of Russian league leaders Rubin Kazan is the only newcomer, picked for the problem left back position.

Gabriel Heinze played at left back when Argentina secured their qualification for next year's finals in South Africa in their last match, a 1-0 win over Uruguay in Montevideo, but Maradona prefers to play him as a central defender.

Cambiasso won the last of his 45 caps in Alfio Basile's last match in charge, a 1-0 defeat by Chile in a qualifier in Santiago a year ago that sparked the coach's resignation and opened the way for Maradona to take over.

The midfielder was overlooked by Maradona, who celebrated his 49th birthday on Friday, for the eight World Cup qualifiers Argentina played under the new coach this year, four of which ended in defeats.

Argentina:

Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar), Mariano Andujar (Catania)

Defenders: Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle United), Gabriel Heinze (Olympique Marseille), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich), Nicolas Pareja (Espanyol), Cristian Ansaldi (Rubin Kazan)

Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Esteban Cambiasso (Inter Milan), Fernando Gago (Real Madrid), Maximiliano Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid), Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle United), Pablo Aimar, Angel Di Maria (both Benfica)

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli)

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