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Argentina unveils Olympic squad (let the chase for silver begin)


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:


Di Maria——–Riquelme————–Sosa




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.


  1. The Africans have apoint to prove. Watch out as tyhe Super Eagles are on the blink of reapiting the 1996 history. This team called Argentina will be sent home packing a medal not more than bronze.

  2. The african have apoint to prove. Watch out as The Super Eagles are on the blink of reaping the 1996 history. This team called Argentina will go home with a medal not more than bronze.

  3. Barce does not want to release messi. That presents a big problem for argentina. sure they are still good without him, but he is definately a big star and an important striker… Who know what will happen :S

  4. Barcelona will not release Ronaldinho and that’s that. This strike force is going to be a smash team during this tournament and it’s going to be exciting to watch them play. The volume and technique of passing that is signature of the nations style of playing is a magnificent thing to watch. I’m not sure what I’m more excited for- watching this squad or watching Batman the Dark Knight ;-P


  5. im sure argentina has an amazing team. but lets think realistically: riquelme is an old F%uk, he cnt run for his life.. gago didnt sho anythin wen his plyed for the nationl team, the back 3 (Zabalta/Burdisso/Garay) have no expirience and a foward like didier drogba and salomon kalou (ivory coast) will eat them up. Messi and Aguero is all argentina has…. messi lookin rusty from a long tragic barcelona season

    In other thoughts i think Brasil has a great chance; being underestimated, ronaldinho will do anythng to be in the olympics and he will come to life -lets face it, no one is better than ronaldinho at his best.. also pwered by young ones diego, robinho, rafinha, Jo… brasil offense is lookin good: the question is can the defense ge the job done? NO LUCIO NO JUAN

    also, i think netherlands could take the gold, having ajax young talent controlling medfield: Maduro, they also have Babel liverpols young striker.. and a pair of yong talentd organizzed player that can form a winning squad.

    I also think Srbia has a very strong team and host china has an advantage….

    I could be wrong, well have to wait till these games start. feel free to debate 🙂

  6. that team has such class!! i love all of them.. i cant wait to see how gago, ustari and garay do ! they all have massive futures.. might as well give them the gold now.. ps bets that other teams will target messi out of the game..

  7. Monzon is a leftback (and a pretty good one at that!). This team is stacked to the teeth, Zabaleta and Monzon are two of the finest young fullbacks you’re going to find. Garay and Fazio are hot prospects in Spain and Burdisso can add experience and composure to the backline. Their defense is solid, end of.

    Their midfield is AMAZING. Riquelme, Mascherano and Gago are the backbone of their A-squad, add talented youngsters like Banega, Di Maria and Buonanotte in the mix and you have the best midfield in the competition.

    And we won’t even talk about their attack. Messi, Agüero and Lavezzi, it speaks for itself.

  8. Argentina looks like favorites but they have a near Spanish like erraticness to them. Still their off days are going to be better than a lot of teams on days.

    To beat them a team is going to have to make Messi and Riquelme work on defense which is something neither one do well or often. The backline is more vulnerable than they’d like.

  9. the groups have been drawn for the Olympics, whats funny is that IF the US get out of group stage (2nd behind Netherlands) then we would face Agentina in the quaterfinals. Hasta la 2012.

  10. Real Madrid would not release Higuain and Bayern Munich would not release Martin Dimechelis, thus Burdisso got the nod.

  11. Haven’t we seen this all before? The Argies send a loaded squad that seems destined to destroy the competition only to flame out short of the silverware. We saw it in the Copa America and it will happen again.

  12. tee-hee , tevez also asked for extra time off, he was a bit burnt out after last season. he didn’t play the last two qualifiers ,when we tied ecuador and brazil last month. hey brett, who will make it out of your suppose group?!

  13. It remains to be seen who Brazil will call. Before we crown Argentina, however, its helpful to remember that Messi, Riquelme, et al. couldn’t beat Brazil’s B-team in the Copa America final. I’d bet that Brazil’s Olympic team will be just as tough.

  14. Ted- some of us speculated that he would be an option…. a kid who isnt playing much with FCD (so we wouldnt be hurting Dallas any), being supposedly scouted by ManU, and showed quite the performance in france…

    i dont know if anyone truely thought he’d be selected, but honestly he deserves his name in the hat… but i feel there are too many other faces to fill the 18 man roster… but id prefer Shea over Barrett (and im a fire fan)… not b/c i dislike barrett, but b/c i see more potential with the USMN’s in Shea then i would in Barrett…

  15. Definite favorites with that squad, but the Brazilians, Dutch and Ivory Coast can and will supplement their already talented teams with overagers that have equal star power to Riquelme & co. Also, the Olympics (and all youth tournaments) are given to surprises. One potential weakness with Argies may be an attack minded team that uses the flanks…can DiMaria and Sosa defend?

  16. “i know this is a bit off topic (but still on topic), but anyone possibly thinking Shea may get the call up (due to his performance in France) may not see it happening…. he’s currently being called into the U-20’s camp against Mexico July 11th…..”

    I think there is no way Shea gets called in on an 18-man roster.

    The only problem I see for Argentina is a team is able to physically wear down Riquelme, Gago and Mascherano.

    Argentina depends on a flurry of small and accurate passes to break down opposing teams, and that starts in the midfield.

    If you can take those three players out of the game physically and mentally, then you isolate Messi and Aguero.

    Those two can still take over a game and beat defenders one-on-one, but it makes it harder for them.

    I’m not saying that a team in the tournament possesses the bite in midfield to take Argentina out of the game, or even if they did that Messi or Aguero wouldn’t be able to conjure some magic, but I think that is one of the only ways to face Argentina.

  17. Tee-Hee, Tevez is too old for the regular spots, and they don’t need a striker (god forbid they would need more offense) in the overage slots.

  18. If they stay cohesive they are going to be amazing. Argentina has a lot of talent but they just need to stay consistent.

  19. I know we’re talking about a different level, but wasn’t everyone handing the Copa America to Argentina after they named their squad last year?

  20. i know this is a bit off topic (but still on topic), but anyone possibly thinking Shea may get the call up (due to his performance in France) may not see it happening…. he’s currently being called into the U-20’s camp against Mexico July 11th…..

    MLS’ers: Brek Shea, Jorge Flores, Josh Lambo, Brandon Manzonelli, and Anthony Wallace

    FCD with 3 youngsters getting the callup… thats nice to see for them at least :-/

  21. Race for Silver–that was funny, ives. Funny because its so true. Diego Buonanotte might not get much PT with this bunch, but he is the next big thing coming out of the River Plate system. Truthfully, I’d like to see him ahead of DiMaria, who was good but not great for Benfica. Maybe if DiMaria stinks this tournament, Adu becomes the beneficiary next season at the Estadio De Luz?

  22. im making the statement now…. “argentina wont make it out of groups”…. laugh if you want, but im calling the upset now 😀

  23. Think about this fun fact. Only 3 players don’t play in Europe and one of them is Riquelme.

    7 players on the roster play for Top-4 teams in the big 4 leagues.

    We’ve got Mr. Altidore.


  24. This roster is sick. I was really hoping the US would bring a strong roster, but with so many important players either injured or switching to new clubs, I don’t know how well we will do. I’m still looking forward to it.

  25. anyone know if cards clear after the group stage in Beijing? Could make a difference on that backline.

    Anyway, props to edthered I think that about sums it up. Still, it’s a tournament and odd things can happen.

  26. Pete, they’re going to go with three centerbacks across the back, meaning no countering, but with diMaria and Sosa on the wings, I think they’ll be okay in the wing attack department.

  27. Am I correct that there is no left back on this team? If that’s true, that could certainly affect their flexibility (although it is highly unlikely that it will even matter).

  28. wow. i still don’t think they win gold though. i’m honestly happy if we (USA) medal. not to mention the fact that a lot depends on how the pools are drawn up. if argentina falls into a really tough group they may have some problems. i don’t think anything is a given at THIS POINT. Nevertheless this team is nasty. i still gotta say i like our chances too. i think we’ve got to be a dark horse. our boys are fearless. come on you yanks!!!!

  29. I thought Messi looked tired toward the end of the season with Barcelona and with the full Argentine national side this summer. I wonder if he will have had enough of a rest (or, given the opposition, whether it matters).

  30. OMG that team is good, it is better than most country’s full strength national team. Argentina has to be considered the favorite at this point. They are going to cause havoc on the attack. With an experienced and talented midfield headed up by Mascherano, Gago, and Riquelme they are going to win possession and feed the best striker in the tournament, Messi.

    The only potential weakness in the back line, as yellow cards could really deplete their depth.

  31. Its over. Just by getting Riquelme as a overage player was good enough to win gold. Let the race for sliver begin.


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