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Maradona: Argentina Needs 'More Competition' for Places

Diego Maradona wants to see greater competition for places in Argentina's squad. The international Argentine legend visited training camp yesterday, declaring: " It's a marvelous team, but I want the team to be a bit more aggressive in terms of competition for starting places." To be sure, Argentina's coach, Jose Pekerman, has a wealth of options up front, from Javier Saviola and Hernan Crespo, his starting two, to 18-year-old Barcelona sensation Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez and Ricardo Palacio. While Juan Roman Riquelme looks set to remain Argentina's starting midfield playmaker, the AP says he's being "pushed hard" by Valencia's Pablo Aimar. Even so, Pekerman is likely to go with the same lineup that beat Ivory Coast 2-1 when Argentina faces Serbia & Montenegro on Friday. If Argentina fails to beat the Serbs, Pekerman is sure to receive a heap of criticism from the Argentine press, which has been calling for the insertion of both Messi and Tevez into the starting 11. To free up a position, he might choose to sit Esteban Cambiasso or Javier Mascherano, both defensive-minded central midfielders.

Read the whole story at Associated Press »

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