Argentina name 16-man squad for get-together

May 6, 2006

BUENOS AIRES, May 6 (Reuters) - Argentina have called up 16 players largely regarded as certainties in their World Cup squad for a two-day get-together in Madrid early next week.

The 16 are all with European clubs except for goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri who will travel to Madrid on Sunday after playing for Boca Juniors in the Argentine league.

There is one surprise in AS Roma defender Leandro Cufre, who won the second of his two caps in March 2005, while Lionel Scaloni, on loan at West Ham United, has also been merely a fringe player.

Argentina meet Ivory Coast, Serbia & Montenegro and the Netherlands in Group C at the World Cup in Germany starting on June 9. Definitive 23-man squads must be named by May 15.

Listed players:

Goalkeepers: Roberto Abbondanzieri (Boca Juniors), Leonardo Franco (Atletico Madrid)

Defenders: Nicolas Burdisso (Inter Milan), Gabriel Milito (Real Zaragoza), Juan Pablo Sorin (Villarreal), Fabricio Coloccini (Deportivo Coruna), Leandro Cufre (AS Roma), Roberto Ayala (Valencia), Gabriel Heinze (Manchester United), Lionel Scaloni (West Ham United)

Midfielders: Maximiliano Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid), Esteban Cambiasso (Inter Milan), Luis Gonzalez (Porto), Juan Roman Riquelme (Villarreal

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Hernan Crespo (Chelsea).