Coach: Diego Maradona
World Ranking: 9
Key Player: Lionel Messi
Word Cup Record: Qualified for 20 finals. Winners in 1978 & 1986
Group B Schedule:
12 June - Argentina v Nigeria
17 June - Argentina v South Korea
22 June - Greece v Argentina
The twice winners of the competition go into the finals with Lionel Messi in top form, and a coach desperate for success to further enhance his reputation on the World Cup stage.
Qualification for South Africa was far from smooth for La Albiceleste and included a 6-1 reverse in Bolivia. Battling 1-0 victories over Peru and Uruguay in their final Group games ensured their passage, and a triumph of sorts for Maradona, who had taken over from Alfio Basile when it appeared as if the Argentines would miss out on this summer’s jamboree.
Along with Messi, Sergio Aguera and Milito, fresh from his Champions League final exploits, will be expected to proved the firepower, with Javier Mascherano and experienced Juan Sebastian Veron the driving forces in midfield.
On paper, Maradona’s side should negotiate Group B with no fuss and after that we will watch to see whether Messi can assert his undoubted class at the business end of affairs.
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar/NED), Mariano Andujar (Catania/ITA), Diego Pozo (Colon)
Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Velez Sarsfield), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich/GER), Walter Samuel (Inter Milan/ITA), Gabriel Heinze (Marseille/FRA), Nicolas Burdisso (AS Roma/ITA), Clemente Rodriguez (Estudiantes), Ariel Garce (Colon)
Midfielders: Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle/ENG), Maximiliano Rodriguez (Liverpool/ENG), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool/ENG), Juan Sebastian Veron (Estudiantes), Angel Di Maria (Benfica/POR), Javier Pastore (Palermo/ITA), Mario Bolatti (Fiorentina/ITA)
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona/ESP), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid/ESP), Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Diego Milito (Inter Milan/ITA), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City/ENG)