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 May 15, 2002 | 1045 IST

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Argentina leave out Riquelme and Saviola

Argentina have left Barcelona's Javier Saviola and Boca Juniors playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme out of their World Cup squad, according to local media who have been following the team's preparations in Italy.

By Tuesday, 21 players had arrived at the training camp and Argentine media claimed that the two remaining places will be filled by Juan Pablo Sorin, who plays for Brazil's Cruzeiro, and Diego Placente from Champions Cup finalists Bayer Leverkusen.

Argentina are due to leave for Japan on Wednesday where Placente will join them after Wednesday's final against Real Madrid.

Sorin, who scored the winning goal in last month's 1-0 win over Germany, was due to arrive late on Tuesday.

It has been generally accepted by the media that changes will only be made to the 23 in the case of injury.

That means no place for Saviola, the gifted Barcelona striker, or Boca Juniors' elegant playmaker Riquelme.

Saviola made regular appearances, most as a substitute, during the World Cup qualifiers and led his country to victory in last year's World Youth Championship.

Riquelme, who wears the famous Boca number 10 shirt which once belonged to Diego Maradona, is a precocious talent at club level but has yet to make an impact in international football.

The first 12 members of the squad were officially named by coach Marcelo Bielsa last week, when he confirmed they would also be going to the World Cup.

The 12 included defenders Jose Chamot, Mauricio Pochettino and Walter Samuel, midfielders Diego Simeone, Javier Zanetti, Marcelo Gallardo, Ariel Ortega and Claudio Husain and forwards Claudio Caniggia, Gabriel Batistuta, Hernan Crespo and Claudio Lopez.

Thirty-five-year-old Caniggia, recalled this year for the first time since 1996, is reported to have made good progress since injuring his knee in the Scottish Cup final 10 days ago.

On Monday, they were joined by goalkeepers Roberto Bonano, Pablo Cavallero, German Burgos, defenders Roberto Fabian Ayala, midfielders Juan Sebastian Veron, Matias Almeyda and Pablo Aimar and strikers Gustavo Lopez and Kily Gonzalez.

If the selection is confirmed, it means that Nelson Vivas, who suffered a knee injury in February, will miss the tournament.

Argentina are drawn in the World Cup's toughest group with England, Sweden and Nigeria.

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