Maradona names slimmed-down squad

BUENOS AIRES, May 19, 2010 (AFP) - Argentina coach Diego Maradona named his 23-man World Cup squad on Wednesday, dropping seven players from the provisional list named last week.

Colon defender Ariel Garce, 30, keeps his place despite having won just one cap for the national team in this month's 4-0 World Cup warm-up win over Haiti.

A picture taken on April 19, 2010 shows a general view of the High performance centre in Johannesburg. The centre will be the base camp for Argentina national football team during the World cup 2010 in South Africa. AFP PHOTO

The seven men cut from the provisional squad are Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini, Newell's Old Boys defender Juan Manuel Insaurralde, Jose Sosa of Estudiantes, Olympiakos midfielder Jesus Datolo, Napoli forward Ezequiel Lavezzi, Lanus' Sebastian Blanco and Juan Mercier of Argentinos Juniors.

Two-time champions Argentina were drawn alongside Nigeria, Euro 2004 champions Greece and 2002 semi-finalists South Korea in Group B and begin their campaign against the African side on June 12.

Argentina 23-man World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar/NED), Mariano Andujar (Catania/ITA), Diego Pozo (Colon)

Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Velez Sarsfield), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich/GER), Walter Samuel (Inter Milan/ITA), Gabriel Heinze (Marseille/FRA), Nicolas Burdisso (AS Roma/ITA), Clemente Rodriguez (Estudiantes), Ariel Garce (Colon)

Midfielders: Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle/ENG), Maximiliano Rodriguez (Liverpool/ENG), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool/ENG), Juan Sebastian Veron (Estudiantes), Angel Di Maria (Benfica/POR), Javier Pastore (Palermo/ITA), Mario Bolatti (Fiorentina/ITA)

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona/ESP), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid/ESP), Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Diego Milito (Inter Milan/ITA), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City/ENG)

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