Ortega Returns To Argentina Squad After Six Years
River Plate’s Ariel Ortega was recalled by Argentina for the first time in six years on Thursday for a friendly against Ghana next week.
The 35-year-old Ortega, who played at three World Cups between 1994 and 2002, was included by coach Diego Maradona in a 19-man locally-based squad for the Sept. 30 match in Cordoba that will serve as a warm-up for World Cup qualifiers next month.
Ghana, who will be without leading players like Michael Essien of Chelsea and Inter Milan’s Sulley Muntari, have already qualified for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.
Argentina are fifth in the South American group with their final qualifiers at home to Peru on Oct. 10 and away to Uruguay four days later.
The top four in South America qualify automatically for South Africa while the fifth-placed team has a playoff with the fourth-placed side from the North and Central America and Caribbean confederation.
The squad for the qualifiers is to be named on Friday.
Goalkeepers: Diego Pozo (Colon), Cristian Campestrini (Arsenal)
Defenders: Matias Caruzzo, Ignacio Canutto (both Argentinos Juniors), Rolando Schiavi, Juan Manuel Insaurralde (both Newell’s Old Boys), Cristian Villagra (River Plate), Luciano Monzon (Boca Juniors)
Midfielders: Mario Bolatti (Huracan), Rodrigo Brana, Enzo Perez (both Estudiantes), Leonel Vangioni (Newell’s Old Boys), Jesus Mendez (Rosario Central), Federico Insua (Boca Juniors)
Forwards: Ariel Ortega (River Plate), Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors), Gabriel Hauche (Argentinos Juniors), Esteban Fuertes (Colon), Luis Rodriguez (Atletico Tucuman)