Zanetti set to break caps record for Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Nov 15 (Reuters) Javier Zanetti will become Argentina's most capped international if he plays in Saturday's World Cup qualifier at home to Bolivia.

Zanetti won his 115th cap in the 2-0 win in Venezuela in October, equalling the record set by former captain Roberto Ayala who quit international football in July.

''When I began my national team career in 1994 against Chile, when Daniel Passarella was coach, I never imagined this could happen,'' said Zanetti, who has returned to the side after being left out of the World Cup squad last year.

''I have been through some bitter moments, such as not being part of the squad in the last World Cup, but that's over. I like to enjoy the present.

''I wait anxiously for every squad announcement, as if it were the first time. To be able to wear this shirt is something which has no comparison.'' Argentina won their opening two games in the South American group last month and are expected to maintain their 100 per cent record against a team who have taken only one point and have yet to score a goal.

Playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme missed training on Wednesday with a cold and high temperature but Argentine media said he was expected to be fit for Saturday.

Riquelme continues to play the pivotal role in midfield despite his lack of match practice with his club Villarreal, where he has fallen out with coach Manuel Pellegrini.

With Bolivia expected to defend in depth, coach Alfio Basile may be tempted to field Lionel Tevez, Hernan Crespo and Carlos Tevez together in a bold, three-pronged attack.

He experimented with the line-up during Wednesday's practice where Federico Insua took Riquelme's place.

Probable teams: Argentina: Roberto Abbondanzieri; Javier Zanetti, Gabriel Milito, Martin Demichelis, Gabriel Heinze; Javier Mascherano, Esteban Cambiasso, Juan Roman Riquelme; Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Hernan Crespo Bolivia: Sergio Galarza; Luis Gatty Ribeiro, Santos Amador, Ronald Raldes, Ricardo Verduguez; Gualberto Mojica, Ronald Garcia, Limberg Gutierrez, Joselito Vaca; Jaime Moreno, Diego Cabrera Referee: Victor Rivera (Peru) Reuters RAR DB2114

Story first published: Thursday, November 15, 2007, 21:35 [IST]
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