Versatile, good in the air and a rugged man-marker, 29-year-old Nicolas Burdisso will be pushing strongly for a place in Argentina’s backline at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. Having appeared three times at right-back for La Albiceleste at the finals in Germany four years’ ago, the AS Roma man is also a reliable option for Diego Maradona in a central defensive role.
Born in the Argentinian province of Cordoba, Burdisso made his name at Buenos Aires giants Boca Juniors, with whom he won seven trophies in the early stages of his career. A 2004 switch to Serie A heavyweights Inter Milan ensued, though he spent most of his first campaign back in his homeland with his daughter, who had leukemia. After his return to Milanese soil, the defender added another nine winners’ medals to his already packed collection before joining Roma on loan in summer 2009 and helping them to second place in the league.
At national-team level, Burdisso broke into the senior set-up not long after helping his country to victory at the 2001 edition of the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Regularly called up by successive Albiceleste coaches Marcelo Bielsa, Jose Pekerman, Alfio Basile and now Maradona, he was a member of the Argentina squad which won gold at the Olympic Football Tournament Athens 2004 and came second at the 2007 Copa America.