Diego Maradona makes odd decisions.
Inter Milan duo Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Zanetti have been left out of Argentina’s provisional 30-man squad for this summer’s World Cup.
Full-back Zanetti and midfielder Cambiasso have been omitted despite playing a key role in Inter’s march to the Champions League final.
Coach Diego Maradona did find places for Liverpool’s Maxi Rodriguez and Newcastle’s Fabricio Coloccini.
Maradona will have to reduce his squad to 23 players by 1 June.
There are a total of five English-based players in the party, the others being Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez, Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez and Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano.
However, Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago and Barcelona central defender Gabriel Milito have been omitted.
Cambiasso, who helped Argentina reach the World Cup quarter-finals in 2002, has never played under Maradona but the coach was under pressure to select the 29-year-old because of his fine form for Inter.
Zanetti, a veteran of the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, has a record 136 caps for his country.
Inter, though, do have striker Diego Milito and defender Walter Samuel in the squad, while Bayern defender Martin Demichelis has also been selected.
Maradona, who has called up over 100 players during his year and a half in charge, picked several Argentina-based players who impressed him in a 4-0 friendly win over Haiti last week.
Colon defender Ariel Garce, who had won two caps in 2003 as a River Plate player, made his third international appearance against the Haitians.
Midfielder Juan Mercier, who also earned a third cap against Haiti, has been impressive for Argentine title favourites Argentinos Juniors.
Boca Juniors striker Martin Palermo is among seven forwards, which includes Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
Maradona, speaking before naming his squad, said he wanted Messi to roam freely during the World Cup in South Africa.
“I don’t want him stationed on the [right touch] line,” said Maradona. “All the balls have to pass through him.
“I’m going to defend with four centre-backs but I’m also going to have full-backs available in case we need to improve coming out of defence.”
Argentina are in Group B together with Greece, Nigeria and South Korea.
Argentina squad: Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Diego Pozo (Colon)
Defenders: Nicolas Burdisso (Inter Milan), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich), Walter Samuel (Inter Milan), Gabriel Heinze (Olympique Marseille), Nicolas Otamendi (Velez Sarsfield), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle), Juan Manuel Insaurralde (Newell’s Old Boys), Clemente Rodriguez (Estudiantes), Ariel Garce (Colon)
Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Sebastian Blanco (Lanus), Juan Sebastian Veron (Estudiantes), Jesus Datolo (Olympiacos), Jose Sosa (Estudiantes), Maximiliano Rodriguez (Liverpool), Mario Bolatti (Fiorentina), Juan Mercier (Argentinos Juniors), Angel Di Maria (Benfica), Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle), Javier Pastore (Palermo)
Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Diego Milito (Inter Milan), Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Ezequiel Lavezzi. (BBC Sport)
Some odd decisions here to say the least. It is clear that Diego Maradona has some issues with Esteban Cambiasso as he has never selected arguably one of the best Argentine footballers at this moment in time.
The fact that Newcastle United pair Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez were selected by Inter Milan pair Cambiasso and Javier Zanetti were not is strange to say the least. I guess the proof will be in the pudding but the fact that Argentina struggled to make it to South Africa in the first place says it all.