|Nickname(s)||La Albiceleste (The White and Sky Blue)|
|Association||Asociación del Fútbol Argentino (AFA)|
|Highest FIFA ranking||4|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||20|
|First international|| Uruguay 2–3 Argentina|
(Montevideo, Uruguay; May 16, 1901)
|World Cup appearances||7 (First in 1906)|
|Best result||Runner Up, 1930|
|Copa América appearances||12 (First in 1918)|
|Best result||Champions, (1918, 1920, 1922, 1937, 1945)|
|Olympic medal record|
|Gold medal – first place||1932 Los Angeles||Team|
|Silver medal – second place||1956 Buenos Aires||Team|
The Argentina national football team is the association football team that represents the country of Argentina in international competition and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association. Argentina has qualified for seven FIFA World Cups with the best result being a finalist in the 1930 FIFA World Cup where they got defeated by the Netherlands.
Argentina first ever international football game that the nation played was against Uruguay on May 16, 1901, which was also the first international football match held outside of Europe. The first years that the nation played was against their rivals until 1905 where they got an invitation to compete in the first FIFA World Cup which was held in France. Despite the long journey, the federation accepted the offer to compete against European opposition and after getting used to European conditions in the Swiss Tri Tournament, they were drawn in Group 2 with Wales and Belgium.
Despite the team not being favourites with the European supporters, they surprised their opposition by taking out the group but they would fall in the semi-finals where they would lose 2-1 to Austria. Carlos Carr Brown was the top scorer of the team as he scored three goals. When the team got home from France, they were given a welcome party that at the time was big. After four years of being absent from international football, the 1910 FIFA World Cup which were held in France was expected to be rusty for the nation. After they took out the tri-tournament once again, they were drawn to meet Wales in the first round. The team would easily surpass the Welsh and only just scraped away with the win in the quarter-final against newcomers Denmark. But much like the previous edition, the team couldn't get to the final with them falling short against champions England who were the favourites going into the tournament.
The next World Cup for Argentina proved to be a disaster for the nation with them crashing out of the group stage of the 1914 FIFA World Cup when they defeated Ireland before a draw against Italy and a loss to the French saw the team miss out of qualifying by a single point. After CONMEBOL was formed in 1916 and with the world at war, Argentina competed in the first Copa América which was held in Brazil. The first three tournaments of this brand new championship saw the team take out the title on all of the occasions which did include a title at home.
Building back from disaster
Heading into the 1923 tournament, Argentina was expected to win the South American championship for the fourth time in a row but the team struggled and couldn't even get a victory as they would end up last. The next competition would also become qualifiers for the 1926 FIFA World Cup which would be held in Spain. With the top two teams progressing through to the World Cup, a win against Paraguay was confirmed but they couldn't get victories over the other two opponents with the team losing to Brazil and Uruguay to not make it to the World Cup.
The 1927 South American Championship would see the team start to progress in Lima with the team finishing in second place after they smashed the hosts (Peru) and Bolivia by more than five goals each. But yet again they couldn't take the title with them losing to Uruguay in their head to head to finish in second place.
Finishing runner-up was a spur for Argentina to perform well especially when they would later get knocked out in the first round of the 1928 Summer Olympics football tournament in the Netherlands as they lost to the hosts. 1930 FIFA World Cup qualifiers as they were drawn with Paraguay and Chile in their group as it was the first time that the South American qualifiers were based on groups. The group for Argentina would be proven to be no barrier with two straight wins to qualify for their first World Cup in sixteen years.
With the team getting the Netherlands, France and the United States. After being unlucky in the opening game against the Netherlands where Alberto Chividini scored an own goal to give the Dutch a point. Another draw against the French left the team needing to win against the United States which they defeated the Americans three-nil while the French would lose to the Netherlands to qualify through to the quarter-finals. The team would then make it to the final after scraping 1-0 wins over Sweden (quarter-finals) and Switzerland (semi-finals). This meant that they would take on the Netherlands again in the final of the World Cup. After battling in the first half, they couldn't get a winner with the Netherlands getting two and taking the trophy.
After finishing in second place at home, they headed to the Olympics in Los Angeles as one of the favourites to take it out. After knocking out Germany and Portugal 4-1, they met Brazil in the semi-finals. They got off to a good start with Francisco Rúa and Alberto Galateo scoring the opening goals. But two goals from Carvalho Leite put Brazil back in the hunt for a spot. But it would be Ernesto Albarracín who would score the winner in the 84th minute to book the gold medal spot which they would get with Galateo scoring two of the four.
Hosting and being Absent
With confidence riding high, they entered the 1934 FIFA World Cup qualification stage as favourites and after sweeping their qualifying group, they were drawn to meet Norway, Sweden and rivals Uruguay in the group stage. For Argentina, they would make it into the quarter-finals without conceding with Alberto Galateo being their main scorer with four goals from the eight that were scored. In the quarterfinals, they would stumble as they would be knocked by France by a single goal to see their campaign end.
After not qualifying for the 1936 Summer Olympics, they hit back and took out the 1937 South American Championship which was at home as they started to prepare for the World Cup to come to the country. With the controversial knockout system being brought back after the success of the recent Olympics, they were drawn to meet Chile in the first round of the competition. After beating Chile 4-2, they would be knocked out in the quarters to champions Italy as they would lose by three goals in the end.
After skipping the 1939 edition and with the Second World War underway, the games against non-South American teams were limited. This didn't stop them from attending the next two editions. After missing out in 1941, they would yet again win the title at home with an almost perfectly clean sweep of the games with the only fault being a 0-0 draw against Uruguay.
After a disappointing result in the 1947 edition where they finished below Paraguay in the rankings of that tournament. With Brazil hosting the 1949 South American Championship a dispute between them and the Brazilian Football Confederation forced the team to not enter in the tournament. They did though enter the 1950 qualifiers for the World Cup where they would finish in third place in group one with their only win coming against Bolivia.
The dispute between the two confederations would stop in the mid-50s with the two finally being peaceful between each other. On the pitch, the team would miss 1953 South American Championship which was the qualifier for the 1954 FIFA World Cup held in Chile.
As the national team headed to the Olympic Games where they were the host nation, they would take the Pan American Games gold medal before knocking out India and Great Britain by a single goal to secure their spot into the gold medal match where their opponents were world number one ranked Yugoslavia. For Argentina, it wouldn't be a gold medal at home with Todor Veselinović and Zlatko Papec getting the goals for Yugoslavia to get them the win. After struggling at Uruguay in the 1957 South American Championship where they could only get a single win against Chile, the hope wasn't too high heading into the qualifiers for the 1958 FIFA World Cup with Paraguay and Colombia being the teams.
The hope of not possibly qualifying spurred the nation as they qualified on the last match day against Paraguay as they won 2-0 with goals coming from Norberto Menéndez and Omar Oreste Corbatta to book a spot at the World Cup. As the nation got their fate, they got drawn into Group B with Italy, Uruguay and Sweden. Opening up with a 1-1 draw against Sweden, Argentina would defeat their South American rivals in Uruguay with Norberto Boggio and Néstor Rossi scoring to give them the simple task of only needing to draw with Italy to qualify. But they couldn't get the job done with them having to play in a play-off against Uruguay in which they win to make it to the quarter finals, only three days later. This would prove too much as they would go down to the Soviet Union and become another causality of the 1958 FIFA World Cup.
Main article: Argentina-Uruguay football rivalry
FIFA World Cup
Gold Silver Bronze
|FIFA World Cup record|
|1922||Did Not Compete|
|1926||Did Not Qualify|
|23px 1934||Quarter Finalists||5th||4||3||0||1||8||1|
|1950||Did Not Qualify|
|1954||Did Not Enter|
Champions Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
|South American Championship|
|1939||Did Not Attend|
|23x15px 1947||Fourth Place||4th||5||2||1||2||12||7|
|1949||Did Not Attend|