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Barrios earns World Cup place after Paraguay switch

Lucas Barrios has made a strong start to his international career with Paraguay since switching nationalities.
Lucas Barrios has made a strong start to his international career with Paraguay since switching nationalities.
  • Argentina-born striker Lucas Barrios named in Paraguay's 23-man World Cup squad
  • Young Mexico midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos misses out on place in World Cup squad
  • Three-cap defender Ariel Garce named in Argentina's 23-man squad for World Cup
  • Brazil coach Dunga omits Ronaldinho and Adriano from 23-man World Cup squad

(CNN) -- Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino has named Argentina-born striker Lucas Barrios in his 23-man squad for the World Cup in South Africa.

Barrios, who has a Paraguayan mother, was given citizenship in April and scored in World Cup warm-up matches against the Republic of Ireland and the Ivory Coast.

The 25-year-old, who netted 19 goals for German club Borussia Dortmund this season, will be vying for a starting place with clubmate Nelson Valdez, Roque Santa Cruz of English side Manchester City, Benfica's in-form Oscar Cardozo, Edgar Benitez of Mexico's Pachuca and Libertad's Rodolfo Gamarra.

Martino dropped Argentina-based Eduardo Ledesma, Marcos Caceres, Marcelo Estigarribia and Jorge Achucarro from his preliminary 30-man selection, along with midfielders Sergio Aquino and Osvaldo Martinez and defender Julio Manzur.

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Striker Salvador Cabanas was omitted from the initial squad despite being nearly recovered from head wounds after being shot in a bar in Mexico City in January.

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Mexico coach Javier Aguirre dropped young Barcelona midfielder Jonathan Santos from his final 23-man World Cup squad along with home-based defenders Juan Carlos Valenzuela and Adrian Aldrete.

The 20-year-old has won five caps since making his debut last September, and played the whole match as Mexico thrashed Gambia 5-1 on Sunday.

His father Geraldo, a Brazilian also known as Zizinho who played for Mexican clubs in the 1980s, said his son would now turn his back on the national team.

"Jonathan will not play for Mexico anymore," he told Mexican television network Televisa. "I love Mexico, I adore it, it is my country even though I am Brazilian but they cannot hurt him this way."

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Aguirre's decision leaves the squad with just four specialist midfielders: Jonathan's older brother Giovani, Andres Guardado, Gerrardo Torrado and Israel Castro.

Aguirre picked nine defenders, including captain Rafael Marquez of Barcelona, who can also play in midfield.

Seven strikers were selected, including 21-year-old Carlos Vela and 37-year-old Cuauhtemoc Blanco, who came out of international retirement last April when Aguirre returned for his second spell in charge to help Mexico qualify.

Striker Miguel Sabah, who scored a late winner in a qualifier against the U.S. last August, was ruled out of Aguirre's earlier provisional squad by injury.

Argentina coach Diego Maradona surprisingly named defender Ariel Garce in his final 23-man squad for South Africa.

The 30-year-old, who plays for Argentine club Colon, was recalled for the 4-0 friendly win over Haiti on May 5 for the first time since winning his first two caps in 2003.

The group always welcomed Adriano, but there is a moment when reason talks louder than the heart
--Brazil coach Dunga
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  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Paraguay
  • Mexico

Garce kept his place ahead of 33-cap Fabricio Coloccini, who missed out along with fellow defender Juan Manuel Insaurralde, Napoli striker Ezequiel Lavezzi and midfielders Jose Sosa, Juan Mercier, Jesus Datolo and Sebastian Blanco.

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Coloccini's Newcastle teammate Jonas Gutierrez made the cut despite playing in the English second division this season, with Liverpool's Maxi Rodriguez vying with him for a wing place.

Veteran striker Martin Palermo, 36, has the chance to play at his first World Cup, being one of five Argentina-based players selected by the 1986 title-winner Maradona.

Maradona had earlier omitted Inter Milan stars Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso from his 30-man preliminary squad.

The 36-year-old Zanetti, Argentina's most-capped player, was controversially axed by Jose Pekerman for the 2006 World Cup but then brought back by his successor Alfio Basile and retained by Maradona for the 2010 qualifiers -- though he lost the team captaincy to Javier Mascherano.

He was a key figure in Inter's charge to a hat-trick of trophies this season, having won the Italian Cup, Serie A and Champions League.

Cambiasso, who played in Germany four years ago and had a spot-kick saved in the quarterfinal penalty shootout defeat to the hosts, has not been called up since Maradona took charge despite establishing himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe.

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Inter's Champions League final hero Diego Milito was selected despite playing a limited role in the qualifiers, and central defender Walter Samuel has the chance to feature at his second World Cup after missing out in 2006.

Center-back Martin Demichelis, who helped Bayern Munich win the German league and cup titles, was rewarded for his fine form this season.

England-based Mascherano and Carlos Tevez were also included, but Maradona omitted Barcelona defender Gabriel Milito and Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago.

Brazil coach Dunga ended the World Cup dreams of Ronaldinho and Adriano by omitting the duo from his final 23-man squad for the World Cup in South Africa.

The 30-year-old Ronaldinho, a two-time world player of the year, misses out for the second tournament in a row despite returning to form this season with Italian club AC Milan.

Former Inter Milan striker Adriano raised his profile by returning home to play with Flamengo following well-documented personal problems, but has failed to impress Dunga.

"Adriano was given several opportunities," the 1994 World Cup winner said. "There was a moment when we made a decision about the group. The group always welcomed Adriano, but there is a moment when reason talks louder than the heart."

Ronaldinho's Milan teammate Alexandre Pato also missed out, along with highly-rated Santos teenager Neymar, but Germany-based striker Grafite was included at the age of 31 after his fine form for deposed Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg.

United States coach Bob Bradley included Mexico-based striker Herculez Gomez and midfielder Jose Torres in his final 23-man squad.

Veteran striker Eddie Johnson missed out on his second World Cup after being cut from the 30-strong preliminary selection along with fellow forward Brian Ching, defenders Chad Marshall and Heath Pearce plus midfielders Alejandro Bedoya, Sacha Kljestan and Robbie Rogers.

Bradley's squad, which includes his son Michael, features 15 players who have never been to a World Cup alongside two-time veterans Steve Cherundolo, Landon Donovan and Marcus DaBeasley.

Defender Oguchi Onyewu and midfielder Stuart Holden are in the squad despite recent long-term injury absences.

Gomez and Robbie Findley did not play in any of the qualifiers -- and neither did their fellow forward Edson Buddle, who won his first cap since 2003 in the 4-2 friendly defeat by the Czech Republic on May 25.

Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa made defender Roberto Cereceda the unlucky man to miss out on the World Cup after Marco Estrada recovered from injury.

Having earlier dropped striker Hector Mancilla of Mexican side Toluca to whittle his squad down to 24, Bielsa dispensed with Colo Colo's Cereceda -- who had been brought in as cover.

Union Espanola's Luis Marin was given the third goalkeeping place behind captain Claudio Bravo of Real Sociedad and Miguel Pinto.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez axed Catania striker Jorge Martinez, River Plate midfielder Jorge Rodriguez and Nacional winger Alvaro Gonzalez from his provisonal 26-man squad.

He had earlier omitted Cristian Rodriguez, with the Porto winger set to start a two-game ban after his red card in the final qualifier.

Penarol's Egidio Arevalo-Rios and Defensor Sporting goalkeeper Martin Silva were the only home-based players named in the final 23.

Like Dunga, Honduras coach Reinaldo Rueda took the unusual step of naming his 23-man squad well ahead of the June 1 deadline, plus seven reserves.

Key striker Carlos Costly is one of the standby players after being ruled out for four weeks with a foot injury, with his place taken by Georgie Welcome -- who in 2008 was the first Honduran to make his international debut while playing for a second-division side.

England-based Wilson Palacios, Hendry Thomas and Maynor Figueroa are named along with Italy-based forward David Suazo and 36-year-old Carlos Pavon, who is set to win his 100th cap.

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