Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella talked about 30 players being “too big” to have in a practice decided to make his first cuts. Lisandro Lopez, Fabian Rinaudo, Gabriel Mercado and Franco Di Santo were the first players to be cut from the national side as they get ready to begin training with the full squad as of next week.
“You have to look at two players per position as well as some being able to play multiple positions,” said Sabella in a press conference on Wednesday. “(This has to be considered), without putting aside the player’s current form. Sometimes having 23 players seems very few, but it’s always important to have players that can play multiple positions.” Many started to see the writing on the wall as Sabella not only was talking about flexibility from a positional standpoint, but also from a tactical one.
Mercado as well as Di Santo were surprise inclusions to the roster despite Di Santo having been on the squad in previous call ups for friendlies as well as World Cup qualifiers. River Plate’s Mercado was looked at as an option at right back but Pablo Zabaleta essentially has locked up that spot.
Lisandro López was the second defender that was sent back home and all signs are pointing in the direction of Martín DeMichelis being on the World Cup roster despite there being three more players that will be cut before the June 2nd deadline imposed by FIFA.
Finally Fabián Rinaudo also was the first midfielder to be let go and he will go on vacation. Rinaudo was one of the players that was not expected to be amongst the final 23.
Argentina will play two matches against Trinidad & Tobago at the Estadio Monumental on May 4th and then they will play Slovenia at the Estadio Unico in La Plata three days later.
The Albiceleste will debut against Bosnia-Herzegovina at the Maracanã on June 15, they would then play Iran in Belo Horizonte six days later and four days later against Nigeria at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre.