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23-man Argentina squad named

Diego Maradona named his final 23-man squad, which includes Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez and most of the country's big stars. The big surprise was the inclusion of defender Ariel Garce, who played his first international match for Argentina earlier this month against Haiti.

sports Updated: May 21, 2010 00:10 IST

Diego Maradona named his final 23-man squad, which includes Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez and most of the country's big stars.

The big surprise was the inclusion of defender Ariel Garce, who played his first international match for Argentina earlier this month against Haiti.

The list released includes tremendous power upfront, led by Messi, Carlos Tevez and Gonzalo Higuain.

Argentina faces Canada on Monday at River Plate's stadium in Buenos Aires, in what is expected to be its last warm-up before the World Cup. The 1978 and '86 champion opens on June 12 in South Africa against Nigeria and also faces Greece and South Korea in Group B.

Argentine officials confirmed for the first time that the team will depart for South Africa on May 28.

Maradona, who presented a provisional 30-man squad last week, selected a group that includes three goalkeepers, seven defenders, seven at midfield and six forwards.

Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero, Mariano Andujar, Diego Pozo. Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi, Martin Demichelis, Walter Samuel,

Gabriel Heinze, Nicolas Burdisso, Ariel Garce, Clemente Rodriguez. Midfielders: Jonas Gutierrez, Juan Sebastian Veron, Javier Mascherano, Angel Di Maria, Javier Pastore, Maxi Rodriguez, Mario Bolatti.

Forwards: Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Carlos Tevez, Diego Milito, Sergio Aguero, Martin Palermo.