The Argentine-born striker was a controversial inclusion in the squad, having only obtained Paraguayan citizenship on 8 April. Born and raised in Argentina by a Paraguayan mother, he had previously expressed his desire to play for Diego Maradona’s side.
As recently as February this year he told Fifa’s website “Maradona is my biggest hero… obviously it would also be a huge honour to play for my country and wear the Argentina shirt.”
Given his debut in May, he scored well-taken goals in his first three appearances, netting in friendlies against the Republic of Ireland, Ivory Coast and Greece.
Coach Gerardo Martino said of Barrios’ selection “it doesn’t seem logical to me to miss out on an important player - the people will hang me for losing, not for nationalising (players).” A newspaper poll, taken in April, suggests Martino is right - only 14% of fans were opposed to Barrios playing for the team.
He will be high on confidence following a successful first season in Europe with Borussia Dortmund. He netted 19 league goals in 2009/10, making him the third highest scorer in the Bundesliga.
Barrios failed to make the breakthrough as a youngster with Argentinos Juniors but made his name as a prolific scorer with Chilean clubs Temucho and Cobreloa.
A move to Mexican side Atlas did not work out, so he returned to Chile with Colo Colo, where he netted 38 times in 42 league games. Last summer, Dortmund paid a reported fee of £3.5m for his signature.
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