Thursday, October 19, 2017

Argentina Greatest All-Time Team after Maradona

2004 Olympic Games

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Argentina All-Time Team
Argentina All-Time Team before 1978,
If Argentina sent this team to 1958 World Cup

Since Diego Maradona's last game with Argentina in 1994, Argentina has not won a major international trophy.  However, a number of star players emerged.  New Maradona or New Diego is a title given by the press and public to promising Argentine football players in reference (and reverence) to Diego Maradona as a benchmark. Since Maradona retired, people have been anticipating someone to lead the Argentine national team to a World Cup final, like Maradona did twice.  

This is my selection of a 23 member all-time Argentine team after Maradona's retirement from the national team in 1994.  The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals. Players who played with Diego Maradona in 1994 are considered if they played long after the WC Finals.  They are considered a generation after Maradona.  The nature of this thread is after players after him.


Argentina did well in many U20 World Cup

Team
GK: Roberto Abbondanzieri
He started with Rosario Central.  In 1997, he moved to Boca Juniors, where he stayed until 2006.  He held the Boca Juniors record of 14 titles, surpassed later by Guillermo Barros Schelotto. He was named South American Goalkeeper of the Year in 2003.  In 2006, he moved to Getafe in Spain.  Capped 49 times.  He went to the WC Finals in 2006.  He started all matched until he was subbed out because of an injury during the quarterfinal against Germany. 

GK: German Burgos 
Burgos started playing professionally with Ferro Carril Oeste. In 1994 he moved to River Plate, where he was dubbed Mono (monkey) because of his height and disheveled appearance, going on to win several titles during his spell, notably the 1994 Apertura where his team did not lose one single game.  He also played in Spain. He was capped 35 times and was the backup keeper at the WC Finals in 1998 and 2002.

GK: Sergio Romero
Romero started his career with racing Club before moving to Europe where he played for AZ, Sampdoria and Monaco.  At the time of writing, he is a backup keeper with Manchester United. At the time of writing, he warned over 90 caps.  he was Argentina's starting keeper at both WC Finals in 2010 and 2014.

RB: Javier Zanetti
He was the starting rightback for Inter Milan for almost 20 years.  He served as their captain from 1999, earning him the nickname "Il Capitano" (The Captain).  He held all kind of appearance records in Italy.  He widely considered to be Argentina's best ever rightback.  He holds the record of the most capped player in the history of the Argentine national team and played in the 1996 Olympic tournament, five Copa América tournaments and two World Cups, in 1998 and 2002.
Javier Zanetti

RB: Pablo Zabaleta 
With Manchester City, Zabaleta has won all three of English football's major honours: the FA Cup (2011), the Premier League (2012 and 2014), and the Football League Cup (2014). Before joining Manchester City, Zabaleta played for La Liga club RCD Espanyol, where he won the 2005–06 Copa del Rey.  Zabaleta represented Argentina at the 2011 and 2015 Copa América, and was part of their team which finished as runners-up in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. 

CB: Roberto Ayala
Roberto Ayala captained Argentina for 63 times, a record.  He is also the second cap record holder for Argentina.  He played in three FIFA World Cups and made a total of 115 international appearances. He was best remembered for winning the UEFA Cup with Valencia. He also played with River Plate, Napoli, Racing Zaragoza, Milan, etc.  He inherited the nickname El Ratón from the Argentine 1974 World Cup player Rubén Ayala, although they are not related
Roberto Ayala
CB: Roberto Sensini 
Roberto Sensini started in 1986 for Newell's Old Boys before moving to Udinese.  With Parma,  he won two UEFA Cups, 3 Italian Cups, and the UEFA Super Cup. With Lazio, he won the scudetto, the Italian Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, and the Supercoppa Italiana in his first season.  He played in the World Cup 1990, 1994 and 1998. In the 1990 World Cup Final Sensini conceded the disputed penalty kick from which West Germany scored their winning goal.

CB: Martín Demichelis
Demichelis spent most of his professional career with Bayern Munich in Germany (seven and a half years), winning 11 major titles with the team. He also competed in his home country with River Plate, in Spain with Espanyol and Málaga and in England with Manchester City. Demichelis earned 51 caps for Argentina, representing the country in two World Cups – finishing second in 2014 – and the 2015 Copa América.

CB: Walter Samuel
Walter Samuel began his career with Newell's Old Boys in 1996, moving to Boca Juniors year later.  In Europe, he played with Roma, Real Madrid and Inter Milan. With Inter Milan, he won five consecutive Serie A titles; he played a key role in the club's treble success in the 2009–10 season, partnering with Lúcio in defence under José Mourinho. At international level, he has over 50 caps for Argentina, representing his country at two World Cups. He was of Jewish background.
Walter Samuel

LB/LW: Juan Pablo Sorin 
He had a successful club career in his native Argentina with River Plate, in Brazil with Cruzeiro, and with various teams in Europe, including Barcelona, Lazio, Paris Saint-Germain and Villarreal. He won the Copa Libertadores in 1996 with River Plate.  he earned 76 caps and was the captain of Argentina national team at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

LB: José Chamot 
Chamot began his career with Rosario Central, and then moved to Italy, where he played for Pisa (1991–93), Foggia (1993–94) and Lazio (1994–98). His spell at Lazio cemented him as one of the top full backs in the Serie A.  He had a spell with Atlético Madrid, before joining A.C. Milan, winning the 2002–03 UEFA Champions League.  Earned 43 caps for Argentina, and played in three FIFA World Cups (1994, 1998 and 2002). 

CM: Fernando Redondo
Fernando Redondo was considered one of the greatest midfielders in the 1990's.  He played his first game in the Primera División at only 16 for Argentinos Juniors, and remained five years with the team before moving abroad to CD Tenerife in Spain.  He joined Real Madrid in 1994, where he would become one of the best central midfielders in Real Madrid's history.  He won two Champions' League with them. For the national team, he only picked up 29 caps because he had issues with various managers.
Fernando Redondo

DM: Diego Simeone 
Simeone started his career with Velez Sarsfield before moving to Europe.  With Atletico Madrid, he won the Double with them in 1995-1996. With Inter Milan,  he won the UEFA Cup in 1998.  He won the Double with Lazio.  For Argentina, he was capped 106 times. He won Copa America in 1991 and 1993.  He went to play in three World Cup Finals; 1994, 1998 and 2002.  In 1998, he had the famous incident with David Beckham.  

CM: Esteban Cambiasso
Cambiasso has won 23 official titles, being the Argentine footballer with most honours in history. The majority of his titles were won during his ten seasons at Internazionale, including five Scudetti and the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League. He also played Independiente, River Plate, Real Madrid, Leicester Town and Olympiakos. Cambiasso won 52 caps for Argentina, and represented the country at the 2006 World Cup.

AM/CM: Juan Sebastián Verón 
Juan Sebastian Veron was the son of a Estudiantes de La Plata great Juan Ramon Veron.  He was also a hero at the club.  Both father and son won the Copa Libertadores for the club.  He also played briefly for Boca Juniors in 1996.  He had an extended career in Europe, playing for Parma, Lazio, Sampdoria, Manchester United, Chelsea, Inter Milan, etc.  He was considered one of the best Argentine player of his generation, winning 73 caps between 1996 and 2010.
Juan Sebastián Verón 
AM/CM: Juan Roman Riquelme 
Riquelme was the best Argentine player of his generation. He spent most of his career with Boca Juniors, but also had a significant spell in Spain with Villarreal. He was a club legend with Boca Juniors.  He won 4 Copa Libertadores and a single Intercontionental Cup.  With Villarreal, he reached the semifinal of the Champions' League in 2005. For Argentina, he was only capped 51 times, largely because of his row with Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi.

RW/FW:  Lionel Messi 
Born and raised in central Argentina, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a child. At age 13, he relocated to Spain to join Barcelona. At time of writing, he won 4 World Player of the Year and 5 Ballon d'Or.  In 2016, he was convicted for 21 months in jail for tax fraud, but avoided jail timeDespite his tax evasion conviction and fraud with his charities, he is considered a clean-cut player. He is one of the few convicted footballers active in the game.

RW/FW: Ángel Di María
After beginning his career with Rosario Central, Di María moved to Europe in 2007 to play for Benfica, earning a €25 million move to Real Madrid three years later. He played a major role in the club's 2011–12 La Liga triumph. After winning the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid, he signed for Manchester United in 2014 for a British record £59.7 million, but joined PSG a year later for around £44 million. At the time of writing, he earned over 90 caps. He went to both 2010 and 2014 World Cup Finals.
Ángel Di María
FW/AM: Sergio Aguero 
El Kun became the youngest player ever to play in the Argentine Primera Division in 2003 when he played for Independiente.  In 2006, Atletico Madrid broke their transfer record to sign him.  He rewarded the club with the Europa Cup in 2010.  In 2011, he joined Manchester City. Again, he rewarded the club with an added time goal that won the Preimership for Manchester City's first ever title. At the time of writing, he had 89 caps.  His international career was limited by playing in the same generation with Lionel Messi.
Sergio Aguero 
ST/SS: Carlos Tevez 
Tevez made his name with Boca Juniors by winning the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup in 2003 before moving to Corinthians. In 2006,  he moved to West Ham United, but Tevez transferred to Manchester United in 2007 and in his two years won several trophies including the Champions League. In 2009 he joined Manchester City. In 2013, he moved to Juventus, helping them to dominate Italian football.  He earned over 70 caps and appeared in two WC Finals.

ST: Hernán Crespo 
Started with River Plate, he went on to play for many big clubs in both Italy and England.  He won three Serie A scudetti, a Copa Libertadores, a Premier League title and an Olympic Games silver medal. At international level, Crespo's career was limited by playing with Gabriel Batistuta, but he still managed to score 35 goals and is Argentina's third highest goalscorer. He played in three FIFA World Cups: 1998, 2002, 2006.

ST: Gonzalo Higuain 
Higuain first starred for River Plate in Argentina.  He joined Real Madrid in 2006.  He would stay with the club until 2013.  Higuain later played with Napoli and Juventus.  In the 2015–16 season, he scored 36 league goals, winning the Capocannoniere title and equalling Gino Rossetti's 87-year-old record for goals in an Italian top-flight season. For the national team, he earned 52 caps.  He was brought into the national team after Argentina struggled to qualify for South Africa 2010.
Gonzalo Higuain 
ST:  Gabriel Batistuta
Gabriel Batistuta is the current all-time top-scorer for Argentina.  He first gained international recognition when Argentina won the Copa America in 1991 where he finished as the top scorer. He earned a move to Fiorentina spending the next 9 seasons there while becoming their all-time leading scorer.  In 2000, he moved to Roma and won the scudetto in his first season. He played 77 times for Argentina.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 1994, 1998 and 2002.
Gabriel Batistuta

Honorable Mention
Ariel Ortega, Carlos Tevez, Matìas Almeyda, Kily González, Pablo Aimar, Nicolás Burdisso, Diego Milito, Nicolás Otamendi, Javier Mascherano, Fernando Gago, Diego Placente, Gabriel Milito, Fabrizio Coloccini, Gabriel Heinze.

Squad Explanation
-- Players who played with Diego Maradona in 1994 are considered if they played long after the WC Finals.  They are considered a generation after Maradona.  The nature of this thread is after players after him.
-- Robert Ayala, Walter Samuel and Roberto Sensini were obvious selection for centerbacks.  The 4th centerback is Martín Demichelis.  At his peak, I feel he was better than Gabriel Milito and Fabrizio Coloccini. Gabriel Heinze who played primarily as a left back was also considered to be the 4th centerback. Juan Pablo Sorin and Jose Chamot
-- Fernando Redondo never played in a World Cup Finals after 1994, but he is of same age as Gabriel Batistuta.
-- Esteban Cambiasso is more rounded game than Javier Mascherano.
-- It was difficult to select the third keeper.  Sergio Romero was chosen because he amassed over 90 caps.
-- Claudio Caniggia was on the 2002 World Cup team, but he played two WC Finals with Diego Maradona.
-- The 23rd spot was difficult.  It was a choice between Ariel Ortega and Carlos Tevez. I was lending on Tevez because of his club career with Boca Juniors and in Europe.
-- Ángel Di María provided width to the attack.

Formation
The defence is solid, but the offence is unrealistic.  Riquelme, Aguero and Messi probably would not work well.





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