Diego Milito has been a cast-iron guarantee of goals throughout his club career and the Argentinian striker, set to turn 31 on the day of La Albiceleste’s Group B opener against Nigeria, would relish the chance to unleash his talents on the FIFA World Cup™ stage. On the back of a prolific season in domestic and European action for Italian giants Inter Milan, Milito is determined to earn a place in coach Diego Maradona’s Argentina line-up, despite the fierce competition for attacking berths.
In direct contrast to younger brother Gabriel, an accomplished central defender at Barcelona, Diego is an out-and-out centre-forward, blessed with power, technique and a real hunger for goals. The older Milito broke into top-flight football in his homeland at Avellaneda outfit Racing Club, helping fire them to the Apertura 2001 title – the club’s first league crown for 35 years.
Nicknamed El Príncipe courtesy of his physical resemblance to Enzo Francescoli, Milito made the switch to Serie A and Genoa in early 2004, spending 18 months there before three campaigns in La Liga with Real Zaragoza. Following Los Maños’ relegation in 2007/08, Milito rejoined Genoa where his prolific form earned him a move to serial Serie A winners Inter in summer 2009. Lining up alongside ex-Barça star Samuel Eto’o, Milito broke the 30-goal mark for the campaign, while scoring the vital goals that sealed the Serie A title and Inter's first European crown in 45 years in a memorable treble-winning campaign.
Somewhat short of opportunities at international level, El Príncipe has failed to find the net in any of his seven outings for the Albiceleste in FIFA World Cup qualifiers. He has, however, struck four times for his country in friendly action and been called up by successive Argentina supremos Marcelo Bielsa, Jose Pekerman, Alfio Basile and Maradona.