BUENOS AIRES - Midfielder Jesus Datolo, who scored on his debut in last week's win over Russia, has been retained in the Argentina squad for their key World Cup qualifiers against Brazil and Paraguay next month. Coach Diego Maradona also named Newcastle United defender Fabricio Coloccini among 19 Europe-based players in the squad. He would add several home-based players on August 30, the Argentine Football Association said. Datolo scored Argentina's third goal in their 3-2 win over Russia in a friendly in Moscow last week after coming on as a substitute to earn his first cap. Argentina, who meet Brazil in Rosario on September 5 and Paraguay in Asuncion four days later, are fourth in the South American group, five points behind Brazil with four matches to go. The top four qualify automatically for the 2010 finals in South Africa, while the fifth goes into a playoff with a team from the CONCACAF region. Coloccini, a member of Argentina's 2006 World Cup squad, was last called up for Maradona's debut match in charge, a friendly against Scotland in Glasgow last November. He did not play in the 1-0 win. Coloccini, who plays in the English Championship with Newcastle, has been named as cover in central defence after injury to Bayern Munich's Martin Demichelis. Maradona is expected to include at least one centre back, Nicolas Otamendi of Argentine champions Velez Sarsfield, when he adds home-based players to the squad. He may also add Estudiantes playmaker Juan Sebastian Veron, who missed the Russia friendly through injury. Squad: Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar), Juan Pablo Carrizo (Real Zaragoza), Mariano Andujar (Catania) Defenders: Nicolas Burdisso, Javier Zanetti (both Inter Milan), Gabriel Heinze (Olympique Marseille), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle United), Nicolas Pareja (Espanyol) Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Fernando Gago (Real Madrid), Maximiliano Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid), Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle United), Jesus Datolo (Napoli) Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli), Diego Milito (Inter Milan), Lisandro Lopez (Olympique Lyon)
22 August 2009
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