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Mascherano's Under-20 team begins its path to the World Cup: everything there is to know about the South American from Colombia


In an ultra-demanding tournament, it will be played every 48 hours in two groups of five teams. The first three will cross each other to define the four places.

Perhaps it is a nice wink of fate that the team led by

Javier Mascherano

, captain of several battles and some painful defeats, is the one who wears

the three stars on the AFA shield on the National Team shirt for the

first time .

It is that this Thursday the South American U-20 tournament starts in Colombia and

Argentina will seek to keep one of the four places for the next FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023

, to be played in Indonesia from May 20 to June 11. 

A commonplace says that life is a wheel: everything starts again at a certain moment.

Mascherano must be feeling something like that, now 38 years old and coach of the youth team.

It happens that 20 years ago, on January 28, 2003, 


lifted the South American trophy that took place in Uruguay as captain.

In that team led by Hugo Tocalli, Fernando Cavenaghi, Carlos Tevez, Pablo Zabaleta, Javier Pinola and Fernando Belluschi, among others, also shone.

That tournament on Uruguayan soil began Mascherano's path as a professional player: his debut in the Senior National Team would come months later, first, and in River, later.

It could be said that this South American that will be played in Colombia will mark his career as a coach.

Mascherano lifts the South American trophy. Photo: AP

how to play

It will be an ultra-demanding championship: matches will be played every 48 hours.

The tournament will be divided into two parts: Group Phase and Final Phase.

In the Group Phase, the ten teams divided into two groups of five will participate

, whose seedings are Colombia, host, and Ecuador, last champion.

In Group A (could be called "death") will be Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Peru.

While in Group B Ecuador, Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile and Bolivia will compete.

The Group Phase will last until Saturday, January 28 and all the matches will be played in Cali (Estadio Olímpico Pascual Guerrero and Estadio Deportivo Cali).

Once the first stage is over, the first three from each zone will qualify for the Final Phase, which will take place entirely in Bogotá (Metropolitan Roof Stadium and El Campín Stadium) from Tuesday, January 31.

The three best teams in each group will face each other in the last stage until Sunday, February 12,

and the one that ends with the most points will be the new champion (there may be a tie in points and definition of the championship by goal difference, etc.).

The top four will also qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2023 to be played between May 20 and June 11.

In addition, those who finish from first to third place will earn the right to play the next Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.

It was said: the tournament begins this Thursday with the duels between Peru-Brazil and Colombia-Paraguay;

Argentina will be free on the first date.

Afterwards, they will face Paraguay on Saturday, Brazil on Monday, Peru on Wednesday and Colombia on Friday. 

"We are going to have to play the first phase every 48 hours, which is why it was important to form a good squad. We are happy with what we have"

, assured Mascherano.

And he expanded:

"It will be the most important challenge, because they are my first steps as a coach and because I am representing Argentine soccer through the Sub-20. That is a great responsibility, not only for me but for the entire working group that accompanies me

. "

Alejandro Garnacho was not transferred by Manchester United.

EFE/EPA/Adam Vaughan

A team with heavy absences

Argentina will not be able to count on its rising star: Alejandro Garnacho


As clubs are not required to release players to the South American tournament, Manchester United authorities preferred to retain the 18-year-old striker.

Nor were Luka Romero (Lazio), Matías Soulé (Juventus) and the brothers Franco and Valentín Carboni (Cagliari and Inter, respectively) on loan.

Of those who play abroad, only Facundo Buonanotte, from Brighton in England and who will play with number 10, and Nicolás Paz, from Real Madrid, were authorized. 

"We knew it was difficult for them to come. The reality is that the clubs have no obligation to give them up for a South American, but even so, we did a tour of Europe, a month and a half ago, in which we spoke with each club to see what There was availability. In many cases we knew that it was practically impossible because they are having a very good present and it is also good that they can continue to grow in their clubs, which are important, and that at some point we can have them. count, we made the arrangements knowing the difficulty there was, but we are very happy with the list because we have guys who are very good and who are at the same level as those who are not

," Mascherano explained.

In any case, on the list there are players of hierarchy and with several matches in the First Division, such as the defenders Valentín Gómez (Vélez) and Agustín Giay (San Lorenzo), the midfielders Máximo Perrone (Vélez) and Gino Infantino (Rosario Central), and forwards Ignacio Maestro Puch (Atlético Tucumán) and Alejo Véliz (Rosario Central).

The list


: Federico Gomes Gerth (Tiger), Franco Herrera (Newell's) and Francisco Gómez (Racing).


: Lautaro Di Lollo (Boca), Nahuel Génez (Boca), Julián Aude (Lanús), Brian Aguilar (Lanús), Agustín Giay (San Lorenzo), Valentín Gómez (Vélez), Francisco Marco (Defense and Justice) and Ulises Ciccioli (Central Rosary). 


: Maximiliano González (Lanús), Máximo Perrone (Vélez), Axel Encinas (River), Facundo Buonanotte (Brighton), Gino Infantino (Rosario Central) and Nicolás Paz (Real Madrid). 


: Ignacio Maestro Puch (Atlético Tucumán), Alejo Véliz (Rosario Central), Brian Aguirre (Newell's), Santiago Castro (Vélez), Nicolás Vallejo (Independiente) and Julián Fernández (Vélez).

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-01-19

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