Javier Pastore is one of the players that have earned a place in Diego Maradona’s squad without having made a single appearance in qualifying. He owes his inclusion, however, to his elegance on the ball and a fine season with Palermo in Serie A.
An admirer of another gifted distributor in Juan Roman Riquelme, Pastore started out with second division CA Talleres in his hometown of Cordoba. The youngster, who will turn 21 during the world finals, then came to prominence with Huracan, forming part of the Globo side that finished runners-up in the 2009 Clausura and ending the season as his side’s leading scorer with seven goals.
“He is an outstanding player,” enthused his then coach and mentor Angel Cappa. “He’s the kind of footballer who makes people want to go to the stadium.”
Pastore is now impressing in Italy with Palermo, where he has drawn yet more effusive praise from seasoned calcio watchers, among them the Sicilian club’s president Maurizio Zamparini: “A lot of people are after him but he’s staying with us. He’s good enough to play for Barcelona one day.”
The sought-after midfielder made his international debut in the representative match against Catalonia last December. Though he ended up on the losing side, Pastore scored a fine goal, the highlight of a promising performance that showed he has the creative abilities Maradona requires.