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Friday, October 09, 2009

Top Ten Achievements of Argentina National Football Team

Argentina is one of the powerhouses of world football. Presenting the greats like Diego Maradona, Gabriel Batistuta, Mario Kempes, Daniel Passarella, Hernán Crespo, Jorge Valdano, Osvaldo Ardiles etc., Argentina has now become one of the world’s most popular football teams. Over the years, Argentina won many prestigious tournaments including world cup. Here, I have made a list of top ten achievements of Argentina football team so far. I hope you will enjoy the list and I would love to see your opinions regarding the list in the comment section. So, let us now go through the list of Argentina’s achievements in football:

1986 World Cup Champion

Winning the 1986 FIFA World Cup under the leadership of Diego Maradona is undoubtedly the biggest ever achievement of Argentina football team. You may think that Argentina won the world cup in 1978 for the first time and that is why, it should be the biggest achievement of Argentina. However, it was Argentina’s magnificent performance in 1986 world cup that made them one of the most popular football team across the globe. Moreover, this is the tournament that made Diego Maradona a legend and his two goals in 2-1 victory over England have entered into football folklore and the diminutive midfielder was awarded the Golden Ball for his outstanding display throughout the tournament.

Diego Maradona

1978 World Cup Champion

I had to think twice to place 1978 World Cup in the second place of the list of Argentina’s achievement in football because initially I was intended to place it at the top of the list. Actually, Argentina emerged as the world’s best team through this tournament for the first time in the history of world football. This achievement gave the Argentine people an occasion to celebrate amid a tumultuous political condition prevailed in the country during the military regime.

Under the coaching of César Luis Menotti and inspirational leadership of Daniel Passarela, Argentina clinched the title. Some other notable Argentine stars of the tournament are tournament’s highest scorer Mario Kempes (6 goals), Ossie Ardiles, Daniel Bertoni and Leopoldo Luque.

1990 World Cup Runners-up

This could have been the third world cup title for Argentina, but the Albicelestes lost to West Germany 1-0 through a penalty goal conceded just five minutes before the final time. Maradona failed to replicate his dominating performance in 1990 world cup that he displayed four years back.

Going into the tournament as defending champion, Argentina had to struggle to reach the second round as they finished third in Group B after Roger Milla’s Cameroon and Romania. A Caniggia strike helped them to win over arch-rivals Brazil in the second round before defeating Yugoslavia and Italy in the quarter final and semi final respectively, in penalty shootout on both occasions.

1930 World Cup Runners-up

Argentina may have failed to win the inaugural world cup held in Uruguay in 1930, but they proved that they were one of the best sides in the football world by clinching the runner-up title. Led by Manuel Ferreira, Argentina reached the tournament final where they lost to home side Uruguay 4-2 in a thrilling affair. Overall, Argentina’s performance was really impressive as they did not lose any match before final. Argentine striker Guillermo Stabile was the top scorer with 6 goals.

14-time Copa America Champion

This is a collective achievement for Argentina football team. Copa America is a regional tournament that decides the best team in South American region and Argentina won Copa America title 14 times so far, an achievement that matches only with Uruguay who also has 14 Copa America titles to their credit. Moreover, Argentina also won the runners up title of the tournament on 12 occasions. First time Argentina won the Copa America was in 1921, which was also the first major football title achieved by Argentina. Their latest success in the tournament came in 1993.

2004 Olympic Games Gold Medal

Even though Argentina was the silver medalist of 1928 and 1996 Olympic Games, 2004 Athens Olympic Games was the first time Argentina won gold medal in Olympic football. It was definitely a big achievement for Argentina. Most importantly, Argentina just dominated over the other teams throughout the tournament. Argentina did not concede any goal in the tournament, while scored 17 goals in 6 games at a scoring rate of 2.83 per game. Forward Carlos Tevez was the highest scorer of the tournament with 8 goals.

1992 Confederations Cup Champion

Argentina won the inaugural tournament of FIFA Confederations Cup in 1992 which was held in Saudi Arabia. Confederations Cup features the winning teams of different continents, but the inaugural tournament featured the winners of 4 continents and it was knock-out based tournament. Argentina defeated Ivory Coast 4-0 in the first match and then defeated Saudi Arabia 3-0 in the final.

2008 Olympic Games Gold Medal

Argentina successfully defended their Olympic title at 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and they clinched the second consecutive Olympic gold medal without losing any game in the tournament. Argentina was not as dominating in the tournament as they were in 2004 Athens Games, but still their performance was enough to win another Olympic gold medal. Argentina defeated the likes of Netherlands, Brazil and Nigeria in their way to win the gold medal. Players like Lionel Messi, Sergio Agüero, Ángel Di María and Ezequiel Lavezzi were the star performers for Argentina in the tournament.

Lionel Messi

Image Source: lionel-messi.eu

Diego Maradona- FIFA Player of the 20th Century

This is definitely a personal achievement of Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, but still I think, it is an achievement of Argentine football. Maradona has become the symbol of Argentine football and any achievement of Maradona adds to the glory of Argentina football team. Though Maradona and Pele share the title of best soccer player of the 20th century as it has been declared by FIFA, Maradona received 53.60% of the total internet votes cast by football fans from around the world, compared to only 18.53% votes that Pele received.

Winning All Three Major FIFA Recognized Tournaments (World Cup, Confederations Cup and Olympic Games Football)

This is an achievement that did not come through a single tournament; rather it came through different tournaments over the several years. Besides France, Argentina is the only other soccer team who won all of the three major FIFA tournaments including World Cup, Confederations Cup and Olympic football. Naturally, it is a big achievement for Argentina.

1 comment:

  1. While we mourn the loss of these ‘greats’ and the state of perdition of our present national football team, i can only say that we should ban all politicians, royalty and apanamas from dabbling in a sport, in which they have minimal understanding. Leave it to the true ‘professionals’ – not that we have many that deserve mention. Also kick out all the foreign players in the League and build up our own youth – ‘kaki bangku’ as they are. Talent scouts from the Sports ministry should work closely with their education counterparts to identify potential, instead of barking and howling at the moon.