Gone are Argentina's 2002 losers, tainted by the debacle in Asia four years ago, and in come Jose Pekerman's junior champions.
Coach Pekerman, who had already turned a cold shoulder to 2002 captain Juan Sebastian Veron, left out former defence stalwarts Javier Zanetti and Walter Samuel when he named his World Cup squad on Monday.
He picked a squad littered instead with players who have won the World Youth Cup or the Olympic Games gold medal, and in some cases both.
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"This is a very strong group... there's a historic potential and that's because of the richness of Argentine football", Pekerman told a news conference in Buenos Aires when he named his squad.
The only players in Pekerman's squad who went to Asia in 2002 under his predecessor Marcelo Bielsa are Roberto Ayala, who saw no action in his second World Cup because of injury, midfielders Pablo Aimar and Juan Pablo Sorin, both key figures in Pekerman's successful junior teams, and striker Hernan Crespo, a reserve in Japan.
Pekerman's new guard, looking to win the World Cup for Argentina for the third time, are captained by Sorin and inspired by the midfield genius of Juan Roman Riquelme.
He is taking some chances on the fitness of defender Gabriel Heinze, who is coming back from a long injury layoff and in dire need of match practice.
Aimar has also had a troubled few seasons plagued by injury and most recently illness.
Pekerman, however, believes in a project he began 12 yeears ago in 1994 when he took charge of Argentina's junior teams and set off on a winning streak in which his country landed four World Youth Cups between 1995 and 2005.
He said back in 1995 that if players in his youth team "do not consolidate in senior football, the effort will not have been worth anything."
Argentine Football Association president Julio Grondona, asked by La Nacion newspaper after the team's failure in Japan in 2002 who could save it, said: "That's easy, take Qatar 95, Malaysia 97, Argentina 2001 and make a team."
He was referring to the victorious juniors and to them Pekerman has now added Lionel Messi and third-choice goalkeeper Oscar Ustari, who were crowned in the Netherlands last year.
The outsiders, players he did not have under his wing as juniors, are a distinct minority in Pekerman's squad with Crespo standing out.
Crespo, the iconic Gabriel Batistuta's understudy in France in 1998 and Japan four years later, is hungry for success and Pekerman is also pinning his hopes on that.
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