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Argentina news

Maradona: 'Idol' Tevez must start

June 11, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Diego Maradona has revealed Carlos Tevez will be in Argentina's starting XI, at least partly due to his popularity with supporters.

Diego Maradona, Carlos Tevez, Argentina
GettyImagesDiego Maradona managed Tevez while coach of Argentina

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Argentina possess strength in striking depth beyond any team at the World Cup, with Tevez joining Gonzalo Higuain, Diego Milito and Sergio Aguero among those fighting for places alongside automatic selection Lionel Messi.

But Maradona has hinted that Manchester City's star forward Tevez will earn one of the attacking berths in what could be a front two or three because he is an "idol" to Argentina's fans.

"Carlitos cannot be left out of the team. He is an idol of the people, more than me and Lionel Messi, so I read," Maradona told TyC Sports.

Maradona said Messi, who is tipped to light up the World Cup in a manner not seen since his eccentric coach was a player, is fully fit and raring to go: "Everything is good with Messi. There are no problems."

Meanwhile, FIFA has reportedly rejected an approach from Argentina's players to wear their nicknames, rather than their surnames, on the backs of their shirts because it would have confused the international World Cup audience.