You know that dream scenario? The one where the U.S. Olympic team shocks the world and wins the gold medal? Yes, that one. Well, Argentina called, and they said wake up.
Argentina named its Olympic team, and as expected, it is loaded.
Juan Riquelme, Javier Mascherano and Nicolas Burdisso are the overage players on a squad that was probably good enough with just the U-23 players. With the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Fernando Gago anchoring things, and with Brazil having no luck getting players like Kaka released for the Olympics, it is tough to imagine anybody coming close to Argentina in Beijing.
Here is the full roster along with the potential starting XI:
Argentina Olympic Team
Goalkeepers– Oscar Ustari (Getafe), Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar),
Defenders– Pablo Zabaleta (Espanyol), Ezequiel Garay (Racing Santander), Federico Fazio (Sevilla), Nicolas Burdisso (Internazionale), Luciano Monzon (Boca Juniors),
Midfielders– Fernando Gago (Real Madrid), Ever Banega (Valencia), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Juan Roman Riquelme (Boca Juniors), Angel Di Maria (Benfica), Jose Sosa (Bayern Munich), Diego Buonanotte (River Plate),
Forwards– Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli), Lautaro Acosta (Sevilla) and Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid).
The most glaring absence? Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain is nowhere to be found, which is pretty shocking. I also wonder where Mauro Zarate is, although he might have begged out to prepare for his new club, Lazio.
And here is a projected Starting XI:
Scary, isn’t it?
What do you think of the squad? Are they the gold medal favorites? Would this team be a Top 10 team in the senior world rankings? Is there a team you think can stop them? Share your thoughts below.