Argentina’s coach Diego Maradona selected six strikers for his final 23 man World Cup squad. The likes of Spain, Brazil and England limit the number of strikers to four whereas some countries decide that a larger strike force is the key to success. The only problem for coaches like Maradona is deciding which strikers to choose and which to leave on the bench.
Of the six players the one striker which is a certainty to play is Lionel Messi. He joined Barcelona’s youth team at the age of 12 and now at 22 he is probably the best footballer of his era. This season he scored 47 goals for Barcelona and when he’s not scoring for himself he’s assisting his fellow players. Maradona regards Messi highly and as long as he’s fit and able he’ll be there on the starting line up.
After scoring the first hat trick of the tournament, Gonzalo Higuain has certainly impressed. The Real Madrid striker has started both of Argentina’s group games and scored the three goals against South Korea in the second group game. Having been born in France, Higuain had to choose between his country of birth and the country of his father and decided on Argentina. The striker seems to have chosen the right team to play for after the recent disruption in the French camp.
Carlos Tevez is another of the six strikers. He was reportedly told by Maradona that he would be on the bench at the World Cup and Messi and Higuain would start up front. Clearly Tevez would not be happy about being left out and reports say he confronted Maradona. It’s debatable whether the reports were true as Tevez has started both group games so far or perhaps Maradona had a rethink after all Tevez is very popular back in Argentina.
Two of the three other strikers could easily make an impressive strike force of their own. Sergio Agüero is a highly rated talent and scored 20 goals at Athletico Madrid this season. Agüero is related to Maradona, he married Maradona’s youngest daughter, and appears to be happy coming on as a substitute. He made an impact when he replaced Tevez in the South Korea group match, setting up one of Higuain’s goals.
Diego Milito had an amazing first season at Inter Milan, he helped his side to the treble and scored 30 goals for the club. At 31, he’s older than the other strikers and may not get much of an opportunity to play at the World Cup. He clearly has class and may be another player who is brought on when Maradona requires goals. The final striker is Martin Palermo, at the 36 he has experience on his side but is unlikely to play much football at the World Cup.
To conclude, Argentina has a lot of talent going forward, a lot of managers can only dream of such a pool of talent to choose from. If Maradona gets it right they’re a serious contender to win.