Gerardo Martino faced the press today for the first time as Argentina national coach. Aside from speaking about his pride in taking the job and continuing the fine work of Alejandro Sabella, the former Barcelona boss named his squad for the upcoming friendly against Germany in Dusseldorf and even answered questions on the future of Carlos Tevez.
Flanked by AFA members, Luis Segura, Juan Carlos Crespi, Miguel Silva and José Lemme, a minute’s silence was observed to mark the death of Julio Grondona before the questions for the new Argentina manager started.
Martino began by telling the gathered reporters: “I want to express pride for being in this position. It’s a job that is not common. It’s a work commitment, and sentimental. A place cherished by all.”
Praising the work done by Alejandro Sabella, the 51-year-old added, “The idea is to work with professionalism and to maintain the same course of Alejandro (Sabella). He did a wonderful job, regardless of the outcome.”
When asked what will be his first squad for the friendly match on September 3rd in Dusseldorf against World Champions, Germany, Martino maintained the stance that had been suggested previously.
“For the match against Germany I will pick the same players who were at the World Cup as a reward. I will travel to Europe to see players, but not now for the match against Germany.”
When quizzed on the style of the side, Martino said, “If we can carry on the style of Newell’s to Argentina, we will produce great pleasure.” This is of course to be expected but will be a departure from Sabella’s side, as Martino’s sides would typically be more comfortable in possession.
Two of the more contentious issues were the management of the under-20 side and the possibility of a future call-up for Carlos Tevez. Understandably, Martino was a little more guarded on these subjects.
“The under-20 is not determined. I would like to make decisions concerning the youth sides.”
On the subject of Tevez, the answer was a little more general: “All players have the door open”
For now that is not an issue as Martino will name the same 23-man squad that Sabella took to Brazil but it will be interesting to see who will be called up once Martino is calling the shots.
1- Sergio Romero
21- Mariano Andújar
12- Agustín Orion
4- Pablo Zabaleta
2- Ezequiel Garay
17- Federico Fernández
16- Marcos Rojo
15- Martín Demichelis
3- Hugo Campagnaro
23- José Basanta
14- Javier Mascherano
5- Fernando Gago
6- Lucas Biglia
13- Augusto Fernández
8- Enzo Pérez
19- Ricky Alvarez
11- Maxi Rodríguez
7- Angel Di María
10- Lionel Messi
20- Sergio Agüero
9- Gonzalo Higuaín
22- Ezequiel Lavezzi
18- Rodrigo Palacio
Argentina also kept their place at number two in FIFA’s updated world rankings, behind World Cup winners, Germany.