On May 19, 1978, a couple of weeks before the World Cup kickoff, César Luis Menotti made the last cut of the national team list; he left Diego Armando Maradona out, the 17 years old kid who dazzled in Argentinos Juniors. At the time, no one could have imagined what Maradona would become; nevertheless his name was left off the team roster in the World Cup preview. The other two who were left off team were Víctor Alfredo Bottaniz (Unión de Santa Fe, 25 years old) and Humberto Rafael Bravo (Talleres de Córdoba, 27 years old).
“I´m sorry, but I won´t give any explanations. I didn´t give them to the players and obviously won´t make them public either. I simply had 22 to register of 25 players I had. Three of them had to be excluded. I had told them I was going to proceed like this. The speeches would have been worthless. What did they gain if I told them that they were amazing players but had to be cut out? “ Menotti told the media. And confirmed the 22 players to play the World Cup.
According to FIFA the list of players had to be in alphabetical order. So, Beto Alonso played with the number 1, the keeper Ubaldo Fillol wore the legendary green shirt with the number 5 on his back and Mario Alberto Kempes was the one that best matched the dorsal, he played with the 10.
Kempes was the only footballer of the Argentine squad that played abroad: in the Valencia of Spain. Alberto "Conejo" Tarantini was a free agent at the time of being summoned to play the World Cup. He had no club after a time playing for Boca. After the Cup, he would go to England's Birmingham.
Top left to right: Daniel Bertoni, Leopoldo Luque, Jorge Mario Olguín, Norberto Alonso, Miguel Oviedo, Rubén Pagnanini, Daniel Passarella.
In the middle from left to right: Alberto Tarantini, Héctor Baley, Ricardo Villa, Ricardo La Volpe, Mario Kempes, Ubaldo Fillol. Daniel Killer.
Bottom left to right: Américo Gallego, Rubén Galván, Omar Larrosa, Luis Galván, Oscar Ortiz, Osvaldo Ardiles, René Houseman, José Daniel Valencia.