Paraguayans question Argentine-born arrivals

ASUNCION - Paraguay's Argentine coach Gerardo Martino is unrepentant over his penchant for picking naturalised compatriots for the team he is preparing for the World Cup finals.

Buenos Aires-born striker Lucas Barrios (pictured) is the latest to take Paraguayan citizenship through his mother, with Martino suggesting the Borussia Dortmund player could be in his World Cup squad for the June 11-July 11 finals in South Africa.

Paraguayans have questioned Martino's use of players born in neighbouring Argentina, though the coach was adamant he would continue the policy.

"It doesn't seem logical to me to miss out on an important player," Martino told the Cardinal radio station in Asuncion on Tuesday. "The people will hang me for losing, not for nationalising (players)."

Midfielders Jonathan Santana and Nestor Ortigoza have played for the team and Jonathan Fabbro of local side Guarani has also taken Paraguayan nationality.

Paraguay, without striker Salvador Cabanas who is recovering from being shot in the head in a Mexico City bar in January, face holders Italy, Slovakia and New Zealand in Group F at the finals.

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