After making the big-money move from Boca Juniors to Real Madrid in 2007, Gago has become a mostly regular fixture in the Merengues' lineup, but apparently playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world doesn't get you noticed if your name is Maradona. Apparently the Argentina coach has more faith in Mascherano and Bolatti in the defensive mid position.
USA: Charlie Davies -- OUT
Charlie Davies has made a miraculous recovery from an automobile accident in October of last year that nearly killed him. Davies suffered a lacerated bladder, fractured right tibia and femur, a fractured elbow, and facial injuries. Though Davies recently returned to training with his club team, French side Sochaux, he has not played in any matches, and evidently coach Bob Bradley felt that Davies was not ready for the world stage.
USA: Oguchi Onyewu -- IN
With 51 caps, Onyewu is one of the most experienced international players for the U.S. However, Onyewu suffered a patella tendon rupture in a World Cup qualifying match last fall, and has yet to play in a match since then for club team AC Milan. Still, Onyewu seems to be fully recovered from his injury, as evidenced by Milan considering him for their 18-man roster in the last match, certainly healthy enough to be included in the 30-man U.S. roster.
USA: Brian Ching -- IN
The Houston Dynamo forward, who made clear how badly he wanted onto Bob Bradley's squad, received good news Tuesday with his inclusion on the 30-man roster. Ching resumed full training last week after straining his left hamstring in the team's home opener on April 1.
BRAZIL: Ronaldinho -- OUT
The two-time FIFA World Player of the Year has been left off coach Dunga's World Cup squad. "Ronaldinho's quality and capacity as a player is indisputable," Dunga said. "But my decision has to be made based on reason. I have to make a decision based on what happens on the field."
BRAZIL: Adriano -- OUT
Perhaps even more surprising than his better-known teammate Ronaldinho, Adriano's absence from Brazil's squad is a curious choice. According to coach Dunga, "We gave Adriano numerous chances, but it came to a time when we had to make a decision." Adriano had been constantly called up by Dunga, but there had been doubts because of recent off-the-field problems that caused him to miss several training sessions with Flamengo.
BRAZIL: Pato -- OUT
The young AC Milan star was on many people's lists as a breakout star in this World Cup. Now he won't get the chance. Though Pato has battled injuries this season in Italy, his omission has to be considered a slight surprise given the expectations entering this season.
ENGLAND: Joe Cole -- IN
One of England's best players in the 2006 World Cup, Cole is a surprise pick to many after being unable to consistently find his way back into Chelsea's first team after his recent return from injury. Cole, however, came on as a sub in Chelsea's final Premiership match and played admirably -- with coach Fabio Capello watching in the stands. He provides speed on the wing and a hunger for the ball. If he can prove he is fully fit, Cole will likely find himself on the final 23-man roster come June 1.
ENGLAND: Gareth Barry -- IN
Despite an ankle ligament injury that is likely to keep Barry out for 3-4 weeks, coach Fabio Capello decided to include the Manchester City midfielder who has been a mainstay in the England starting 11 during Capello's tenure. The progress of his ankle injury over the next few weeks will likely determine whether he makes the final 23-man roster.
ENGLAND: Darren Bent -- IN
The Sunderland striker was thought to be a longshot for the England squad because coach Fabio Capello had often seemed to prefer other players. In the end, however, Capello rewarded Bent for scoring 24 goals in the Premiership ths season, the third-highest total in the league behind Golden Boot winner Didier Drogba and England teammate Wayne Rooney.
ENGLAND: Jamie Carragher -- IN
The only reason this isn't the bigest surprise of the 30-man rosters is that it was widely reported over the weekend that Carragher would be selected. A mainstay for England for many years, and a key contributor during the 2006 World Cup, Carragher has not had a cap since 2007. His shaky form for Liverpool this year, coupled with the Reds' poor season, left Carragher off nearly everyone's list for England -- until reports surfaced this past weekend.
ENGLAND: Adam Johnson -- IN
You'll notice the photo of Adam Johnson is of him in a Manchester City uniform. That's because he has never had a cap for the senior national team. Still, coach Fabio Capello likes the speed and tenacity of the City midfielder, who has been in fantastic form of late.
FRANCE: Karim Benzema -- OUT
Thought to be one of France's best players, Karim Benzema will not play for Les Bleus in South Africa. Coach Raymond Domenech said the decision was made because of the Real Madrid striker's unimpressive season rather than his alleged involvement in a prostitution scandal in France. Benzema has often been left on the bench and scored only eight goals in the Spanish league this season after costing Madrid $44.4 million in transfer fees in the summer of 2009.
FRANCE: Samir Nasri -- OUT
Samir Nasri has come on strong for Arsenal in the last half of the season, but apparently not enough for France boss Raymond Domenech to take notice. Nasri's pace and vision could have served Les Bleus well in South Africa, but he'll now have to wait until Brazil in 2014 to get his chance.
FRANCE: Thierry Henry -- IN
It was an infamous moment that may define Thierry Henry as much as the Hand of God defines Maradona. His controversial handball in the World Cup playoff against Ireland notwishstanding, Henry's greater danger of not making the France squad was his relatively poor play of late for Barcelona. Evidently coach Raymond Domenech still feels that Henry can contribute, at least more than his less fortunate teammate Karim Benzema.
FRANCE: Patrick Vieira -- OUT
Not only was Vieira named to the 2006 World Cup All-Star team, he had served as France's captain since 2006. However, Vieira, who has 107 international appearances has failed to impress coach Raymond Domenech since transferring to Manchester City from Inter Milan in January.
HOLLAND: Ruud van Nistelrooy -- OUT
Van Nistelrooy, the longtime Manchester United and Real Madrid striker, last played for The Netherlands in the 2008 European Championship. While the Hamburg forward is now fit, coach Bert van Marwijk said that a long-term absence had ended his chances.
HOLLAND: Clarence Seedorf -- OUT
The veteran midfielder was, in fairness, somewhat of a longshot to make the squad. That being said, Seedorf, who plays for AC Milan, provides veteran leadership and composure on the field. In fact, Seedorf said in recent days that he expected a call from coach Bert van Marwijk. The call never came.
ITALY: Luca Toni -- OUT
Toni, who was Italy's main striker in 2006 and at the 2008 European Championship, lost his place when he ran into problems at Bayern Munich to start this season. However, his chances seemed to improve when he returned to Italy to play with Roma on loan, scoring five goals in 10 appearances for the Italian side. Evidently that was not enough for coach Marcello Lippi.
ARGENTINA: Esteban Cambiasso -- OUT
Esteban Cambiasso has been a rock for Inter Milan for six seasons now. Before that, he played for Real Madrid for two seasons. He also has 44 caps -- and 4 goals -- for Argentina at his defensive midfield position. However, since Maradona took over as Argentina coach, Cambiasso has not been called up to the national team, despite continuing to play a vital role for Inter and affirming his status as one of Europe's best central midfielders. And now comes this World Cup snub.
ARGENTINA: Javier Zanetti -- OUT
The Inter Milan captain since 1999, Zanetti's omission may be the biggest shock this year. He holds the record for most ever international appearances for Argentina at 136, and is hardly out of form considering his Inter side are in the Champions League final. Zanetti had served as captain of Argentina, until Javier Mascherano took over at coach Maradona's request. Now he's not even on the World Cup roster.
ARGENTINA: Juan Roman Riquelme -- OUT
Long believed to be Argentina's best creative midfielder, the rift between Argentine coach Maradona and Riquelme has now extended to ridiculous lengths as the Albicelestes travel to South Africa without a playmaking force in the midfield outside of the aged Juan Sebastian Veron. It seems that Maradona's personal preferences could hamper Argentina's World Cup success.