The World Cup is the pinnacle of international football and its greatest event. Held once every four years, this tournament pits the best national teams in the world against each other in an effort to crown a new champion. Argentina has twice won this prestigious tournament, the first time in 1978 and the second time in 1986. Argentina has one of the most successful footballing nations having won The World Cup twice and also winning it thrice as a finalist. Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about this team
1978 World Cup Winner: A brief history of the Argentina Soccer Team
Argentina’s first World Cup win came in 1978 when the team was led by the great Diego Armando Maradona. The squad had a number of notable players, one of whom was the Argentine captain and goalkeeper, Luis Herrero. Another key player was Mario Kempes, who had been the team’s most lethal goal-scorer during the tournament with six goals, earning him the Golden Boot award for top goal-scorer. Argentina’s road to the World Cup win started with a match against Peru, in which they won 8-0. Next was the match against Iran, which they also won 8-0. The final match before the knockout round was against Yugoslavia, in which Argentina won 2-1. In the knockout round, they beat Brazil 2-1 and advanced to the finals, where they beat West Germany 3-1.
1986 World Cup Winner: A brief history of the Argentina Soccer Team
The second time Argentina won the World Cup was in 1986 when they were led by the legendary Diego Armando Maradona. This squad also had a number of very notable players, including the prolific goal-scorer and midfielder, Jose Luis Brown. Another key player was the Brazilian-born midfielder, Osvaldo “Ossie” Ardiles, who became a naturalized citizen of Argentina in 1985 with the sole intent of playing in the World Cup. Argentina’s road to victory began with a match against Spain, in which they won 3-1. Next was the match against Paraguay, in which Argentina won 1-0. The final match before the knockout round was against Northern Ireland, in which they won 1-0. They then faced England in the Round of 16, beating them 2-1. In the quarterfinals, they beat West Germany 3-2.
A Great Squad
The current squad consists of the following players: GOALKEEPERS: Franco Armani (River), Gerónimo Rulli (Real Sociedad), Keylor Navas (Real Madrid) DEFENDERS: Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City), Ramiro Funes Mori (Everton), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Milton Casco (River), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica), Juan Foyth (Tottenham Hotspur) MIDFIELDERS: Marcos Acuña (Sporting de Lisboa), Éver Banega (Sevilla), Giovani Lo Celso (Paris Saint-Germain), Gustavo Bou (Boca Juniors), Élber (Malaga), Rodrigo Battaglia (Sporting de Lisboa), Éver Torrejón (Cruz Azul) FORWARDS: Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente)
Head Coach: Lionel Scaloni
- Assistant Coach: Gabriel Heinze
- Goalkeeping Coach: Roberto Garcia
- Fitness Coach: Franco Demichelis
- Doctor: Daniel Gilardan
Strategies and Tactics
Argentina’s primary strategy is to play direct football, which means that they will try to get the ball to the striker(s) as quickly as possible, bypassing most of the midfield. Their main goal is to have the striker(s) finish the chances created, which means that their midfielders and wingers will try to create as many chances as possible. Their midfielders will try to keep the ball as much as possible, which will give the defenders and the goalkeeper time to get into their defensive positions. Their defensive strategy is to play a very defensive-minded game and try to concede as few goals as possible. They will try to play very compactly, which means that they will try to stay very close to each other and stay within their own penalty area. Their main goal is to frustrate their opponents and deny them any scoring opportunities.
Argentina is the reigning South American champion. That being said, they were far from convincing in the CONMEBOL qualifiers, as they needed a playoff victory against Ecuador to book their ticket to Russia. It’s that type of inconsistency that will worry their fans, as they would’ve liked to see their team win the Copa America as they did in 2011, 2015, 2016, and 2021. However, they can’t dwell on the past, and they must keep their focus on the future. Can Argentina and Lionel Messi achieve the ultimate in greatness? We will see this year in Qatar, If Messi completes a World Cup win it is very likely he will become the undisputed greatest of all time and any discussions about any other contenders will fall by the wayside. Let us see in Qatar!