World Cup: The Ignored XI

19 05 2010
 
Julio Sergio

It has been a breakthrough year for the Brazilian under Claudio Ranieri at Roma. Although no youngster at the age of 31, he is entering his prime as a keeper and can look back on an impressive season at Roma having established himself as the first choice. The highlight perhaps being his penalty save against Lazio in the 2-1 derby win last month. Unfortunately, the wait for a cap goes on.. Julio Cesar not only having pipped him to the Serie A title with Inter but taking goalkeeper duties with the Selecao.

 

Javier Zanetti

Zanetti’s well-publicised omission by Maradona continues to raise eyebrows. Frankly, he is a legend, and a legend who is still doing the business. Indeed, this season has seen no decline in his performances at the age of 36 as Inter pursue the treble. He has proven a useful asset for Mourinho operating at full-back or in midfield and if Argentina fall short this summer it is easy to wonder what might have been had Zanetti been included. Is Otamendi really a better right-back? We think not.

 

Maxwell

Surely one of the most decorated uncapped players of all-time. Maxwell is our left-back in The Ignored XI. Dutch (Ajax), Italian (Inter) & Spanish (Barca) league titles and super cups galore, he may not be an International but his CV stands up.

 

Sol Campbell

Don’t take our word for it… ”If Sol Campbell can’t make the 30 then there is something else going on” – Sol Campbell (Goals on Sunday – May 16th 2010)

Gabriel Milito

To be fair, Samuel & Demichelis are top class central defenders. However, Gabriel Milito has just signed a new contract with Barcelona until 2012 and is well worth a place in this team.

 

Esteban Cambiasso

Cambiasso was a star in 2006 but is another world class Argentinian who will not be going to South Africa. Apparently he was less than impressive in some of his recent games for the national side and this has counted against him. Shame because he has been the outstanding defensive midfielder in this season’s Champions League, making it a farce that he can’t get a berth in Diego’s 23.

 

Juan Roman Riquelme

The 4th Argentinian in this side, Juan Roman Riquelme is certainly a Ghostgoal favourite but alas could not make it work with Diego. With 4 goals he was actually Argentina’s highest goalscorer in qualifying but will not be making the trip to South Africa after relations with Maradona turned sour. Any World Cup will miss Riquelme.

 

Francesco Totti

The Emperor of Rome but not the Saviour of the Azzurri this time. Totti made noises about a return 4 years after his International retirement but Lippi was not forthcoming and the 5-time Italian footballer of the year will not get the chance to add to his World Cup winners medal from 2006. 

 

Ronaldinho

He made the 30 but not the 23, the former two-time World Player of the Year will miss the greatest show on Earth at the age of just 30 years old. What a waste.

 

Pato

Pato is still only 20 years old and will surely feature next time around. He can still count himself unlucky though – 41 goals in 87 games for Milan is some return for a guy of his age who has often found himself playing from wide. 1 goal in 8 games for Brazil, he will have to wait to add to that tally.

Karim Benzema

A 35m euro move to Real Madrid last Summer but there will be no World Cup for Benzema. His record of 8 goals  in 27 La Liga games matches his International record and it has proven not good enough for Domenech. Back in 2008 he was top goascorer and the best player in Ligue 1. Its been quite a fall from grace, but at 22 years old there is time for Benzema to bounce back.

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