Martin Palermo earned his recall to the Argentina side by doing what he does best: scoring goals, and lots of them. Boca Juniors’ all-time top scorer with 218 in all, El Loco endured a frustrating time in his first spell in the blue and white striped jersey, during which he had the misfortune to miss three penalties in a 1999 Copa America tie against Colombia. Having put that unwanted hat-trick behind him, Palermo found redemption ten years later when Diego Maradona restored him to the Albiceleste line-up. The free-scoring striker repaid his coach by hitting a late winner against Peru last October, the goal that finally cleared Argentina’s path to South Africa 2010.
Palermo began his prolific club career at Estudiantes. Two seasons after helping Los Pincharratas win promotion to the first division in 1995, he joined Boca Juniors, where he has acquired the status of a legend. In two different spells with Los Xeneizes, in between which came a brief sojourn in Spain, he has collected the small matter of six league titles, two Copa Libertadores, a Copa Intercontinental, two Copa Sudamericanas and three Recopa Sudamericanas.
Following Palermo's recall, Maradona handed him the captaincy for a number of friendlies held on home soil, although that goal against Peru is undoubtedly the crowning moment of his international career to date. Dubbed "St Palermo" by his national coach, the Boca striker has an insatiable appetite for goals and can cause all sort of problems for defences in the air, having honed his prodigious leap playing volleyball in his early years.