The Powerful Argentina Football Team

With two of the greatest national teams, namely the Brazil and Argentina soccer team, South America sure knows its way around soccer. The fact that both teams were constantly on top of the soccer stage and the constant battles for supremacy in local competition formed what is today an almost century-long rivalry between these two mammoths of soccer.
Although the trophy room of Brazil is slightly more crowded than that of the Argentina national soccer team, you'll find out that Argentina also remained at the top for almost a century.
You can consider the 1901 match between the Uruguay and Argentina soccer teams the birth certificate of both teams. Actually, the two countries mostly played against one another in the early stages of international soccer and they both hold the record of most international matches played between two countries, with 161 matches so far.
Strangely enough, Argentineans hold more of a rivalry for Brazil than Uruguay, but this is probably due to the fact that Uruguay is not really on the first stage of soccer for quite some time now.

In 1930, Argentina debuted in the first World Cup held in Uruguay and decided right on the spot that they want to leave a mark in the history of soccer. After a tough group stage with France, Mexico and Chile, Argentina went on to qualify in the next round after a 1-0 win against France.
Let me remind you that back then, only one team of a group of 4 (or 3 as it was the case with the other groups) would qualify and the next stage
would be the semi-finals, directly. So admittedly, it was not as big a feat to reach the semi-finals back than as it is today,
but the 1930 Argentina World Cup soccer team proved that it was already a force to be reckoned with, as they
crushed the United States
team 6-1 in the semis and went on to play the host of the tournament, Uruguay.
With Uruguay winning 4-2, the Argentina national soccer team missed a good chance of starting off with the right
foot in its World Cup run, but it did strengthen the belief that they will be strong contenders on each edition.
Unfortunately, the following World Cups would not be as fruitful for the Argentina soccer team, with only a 9th place at the end of the 1934 World Cup, followed by 3 others in which they withdrew, after a series of unfortunate events (in 1938 for example, both the Uruguay and Argentina soccer teams withdrew due to the fact that they did not know where the World Cup would be held).
Fast forward to 1978, when Argentina were given the privilege to host the World Cup, increasing the interest for the game in the entire country and boosting the spirits of the national soccer team.
Captained by Daniel Passarella, the Argentina soccer team managed their first World Cup win ever, after coming out of a death-group with Italy, France and Hungary, winning a second group stage against Brazil, Poland and Peru, to beat the Netherlands in the finals 3-1 after extra time, with a magnificent double scored by Kempes.
Eight years later, the World Cup was again held close to home, as preparations for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico were made. That tournament will probably live long in the memory of Argentinean fans, as it was Maradona's time to shine.
His goal against England in the quarter finals, when he sprinted for around 60-70 meters and dribbled everything in his path, was rightfully named the "Goal of the Century". After England, it was Belgium's turn to fall victim to Maradona's brilliance, as the dynamic Argentinean scored another double and lead his team to a 2-0 win.
The final of the 1986 World Cup is undoubtedly a classic, as the Argentina soccer team found itself leading 2-0 early in the second half, only to be equalized in the 80th minute by the German side. This time it wasn't Diego Maradona who was going to save them, but Jorge Burruchaga, who scored the 3-2 goal in the 83rd minute, claiming the love of Argentinean fans and the respect of the World.
Although the Argentina World Cup soccer team reached another final 4 years after that, they failed to win it and the golden streak of wins ended. With Maradona retiring, Argentina didn't manage another top performance as of yet, despite being considered favorites on most occasions. With that in mind, hopes are high in 2010, as a talented Argentinean generation of soccer players are expected to claim their crown again.


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