Sergio Batista Confirms Argentina Team To Take On Nigeria And Poland

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Argentina coach Sergio Batista has confirmed the 22 players who will form the Albiceleste ‘B’ team for two June fixtures, with several players on the verge of a Copa America place getting a final chance to prove that they deserve to make the squad.The second-string side take on Nigeria on June 1 in Abuja, followed by a clash against Poland in Warsaw on June 4.

The Argentine FA published the list of call-ups on their website on Wednesday afternoon, although the composition of the squad had been known for two weeks thanks to previous declarations made by ‘Checho’. The majority of the squad are European-based and 25 years of age or under.

There are a couple of exceptions, however. Sunderland defender Marcos Angeleri and Genoa striker Mauro Boselli are both included despite being older than 25, while Independiente goalkeeper Adrian Gabbarinio and Internacional’s Mario Bolatti are the two representatives to hail from outside the old continent.

A notable exclusion is that of Lazio striker Mauro Zarate, who is still yet to make an international debut and who has in the past been enticed by the Azzurri jersey of the Italian side. One of the new faces in the team is Metalist and former Velez Sarsfield striker Jonathan Cristaldo. The 22 year old admitted that he was surprised to receive the call, although it was a dream come true.

“I have played for this all my life and, thanks to God, now the chance has come my way. I know Checho from the U20 Championship in Venezuela. I just hope I can take this opportunity,” the youngster told Ole shortly after hearing the news.

Full Argentina ‘B’ Squad:

Goalkeepers: Oscar Ustari (Getafe), Adrian Gabbarini (Independiente).

Defenders: Mateo Musacchio (Villarreal), Nicolas Otamendi (Porto), Ezequiel Garay (Real Madrid), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Marcos Angeleri (Sunderland), Federico Fazio (Sevilla), Emiliano Insúa (Fenerbahce).

Midfielders: Tino Costa (Valencia), Nicolas Bertolo (Zaragoza), Mario Bolatti (Internacional), Fernando Belluschi (Porto), Alejandro Cabral (Legia Warsaw), Diego Perotti (Sevilla), Mauro Formica (Blackburn).

Forwards: Pablo Piatti (Almería), Marco Ruben (Villarreal), Jonathan Cristaldo (Metallist), Nicolas Gaitán (Benfica), Mauro Boselli (Genoa), Franco Jara (Benfica).

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