Has Argentina Won A World Cup?
I was having a chat with my little kid after watching his favorite player lifting the most prestigious trophy in football, FIFA World Cup, and he asked; Dad, has Argentina ever won a World Cup?.
And to my surprise, I noticed many football fans who are new to the game somehow believe that the Argentine has never won a FIFA World Cup.
Now, let me blow your mind.
Argentina Is one of the most successful nations in the competitions having won three World Cups Including Brazil which has five while France and Uruguay have two each. Now you know, Argentina won the World Cup three times: in 1978, 1986, and 2022.
With that said, I will stick to my pen and let you have the whole gist of Argentina’s World Cup wins;
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Let’s dive right in.
Argentina’s 1978 FIFA World Cup Win
The 1978 FIFA World Cup was its eleventh world cup competition which was held in Argentina From June 1 to June 25, 1978. And Argentina won the Cup after defeating the Netherlands 3-1 in the final in extra time.
The final was hosted in the Argentine metropolis of Buenos Aires at River Plate’s home stadium, Estadio Monumental.
That said, Argentina became the sixth team (after Uruguay, Italy, England, and West Germany) to host, and win the cup, making them the third South American side to win a World Cup.
However, this victory was Argentina’s first-ever World Cup triumph. While the winners of the silver, and bronze medals were the Netherlands, and Brazil, respectively.
Also, Iran and Tunisia made their world cup tournaments debut in the same year ( 1978 ). Moreover, this was the first World Cup competition to use the original tournament format of 16 teams.
Since the first World Cup in 1930, only 15 teams (plus the host, who automatically qualified) have been able to advance. And from 1934 to 2002, the defending champions got the automatic qualification.
However, FIFA increased the tournament’s participation for the following World Cup which was held in Spain to 24 teams. In 1978, Argentina won the world cup which was intended to make Argentina the world champion for many football fans.
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According to some reports, the 1978 tournament was tainted by blatant controversy, domestic politics, and allegations of match-fixing by the authoritarian military government in Argentina which was using this tournament as a platform for nationalistic propaganda and the relatively new military to seek legitimacy on the international stage.
Ralf Edström, one of the players, was detained for speaking to someone in Buenos Aires, but the Argentine military freed him after realizing his error (that he was a player, not an ordinary person).
The 1978 World Cup was controversial since Argentina’s democratic government had been overthrown by the military just two years prior, ushering in the National Reorganization Process, a dictatorship.
In September 1977, just over a year before the World Cup, Interior Minister General Albano Harguindeguy said that 5,618 persons had recently vanished.
So, there are echoes of Hitler and Mussolini’s alleged political manipulation of sports during the 1936 Berlin Olympics and 1934 FIFA World Cup at the infamous Higher School of Mechanics of the Navy (also known by its acronym ESMA), which housed concentration camp prisoners of the Dirty War.
Those held captive reportedly heard the roars of the crowd during games held at River Plate’s Monumental Stadium which is only one mile away.
Even Argentina’s encounter against the Netherlands in the final was also disputed since the Dutch claimed that the Argentines used stalling techniques to drag out the game.
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René van de Kerkhof had a plaster cast on his wrist when the host team arrived late and questioned its legality which the Dutch claimed enabled tension to rise in front of a hostile Buenos Aires audience.
Before Dick Nanninga’s equalizing goal a few minutes before the end, Mario Kempes had given the hosts the lead. Though Rob Rensenbrink had a wonderful chance to win it for the Netherlands in stoppage time, his shot bounced off the goalpost, and that was how Argentina became the world champion in 1978 for the first time.
Argentina’s 1986 FIFA World Cup Win
The 13th edition of the men’s senior national teams’ quadrennial football competition, the FIFA World Cup took place in 1986 In Mexico.
And this was the second competition with a 24-team format. Initially, FIFA had originally picked Colombia to host the competition, but due in major part to financial constraints, they were unable to do so.
So, Mexico, which had previously hosted the World Cup in 1970, was chosen as the new host in May 1983, making it the first nation to hold the tournament.
However, this was when Argentina won its second World Cup after winning in 1978.
Diego Maradona, the 25-year-old captain of Argentina, contributed significantly to his team’s victory by scoring both the “Hand of God” goal and the “Goal of the Century” in the same quarterfinal match against England.
Maradona scored five goals during the competition, including two, and he also assisted in setting up five more goals for his teammates.
Argentina defeated West Germany 3-2 at Azteca stadium to lift their second world cup title. In the 1987 tournament, there were 2,394,031 supporters overall, and 46,039 per game.
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Also, we see Canada, Denmark, and Iraq make their world cup debut for the first time. Furthermore, Argentina and Germany face off in the World Cup final in the Azteca Stadium, which would host the tournament’s final for the second time (the first in 1970).
Argentina took the lead midway through the first half of the match, and when Jorge Valdano added a second goal for the South Americans in the 55th, it appeared as though they would win easily.
Then, West Germany mounted a determined return with Rudi Völler scoring the equalizer six minutes after Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had pulled one back in the 74th minute.
Jorge Burruchaga had an opportunity to win it for Argentina with seven minutes left after receiving a pass from Diego Maradona.
In the end, Argentina reclaimed the world cup eight years after their home victory, and 30 million people in Argentina celebrated in the streets after the final triumph.
However, Maradona won the Golden Ball as the competition’s best player, and Gary Lineker of England took home the Golden Boot as the World Cup’s top scorer with six goals.
Argentina 2022 FIFA World Cup Win
The 2022 FIFA World Cup was the 22nd FIFA World Cup edition, and it was hosted in Qatar from 20 November to 18 December of that year.
After the tournament that took place in South Korea and Japan in 2002, it was the second World Cup that was held exclusively in Asia. The decision to host the World Cup in Qatar has drawn a great deal of criticism.
Issues raised include the nation’s treatment of migrant workers, women, and LGBT people, as well as Qatar’s climate, lack of vibrant football culture, schedule changes, allegations of hosting rights bribery, and wider FIFA corruption.
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however, according to a report, the 2022 FIFA World Cup is the most expensive World Cup ever held, with an estimated cost of over $220 billion;
Though, Qatari officials dispute this estimate, including the organizing CEO Nasser Al Khater, who claims the real cost was $8 billion, as well as other data about overall infrastructure development since the World Cup was awarded to Qatar in 2010.
Also, the number of teams competing will increase to 48 for the 2026 edition, making the 2022 world cup tournaments the last with 32 teams.
However, one major reason why the tournament was held in November and December was to avoid the climatic extremes of Qatar. And within 29 days, 64 matches were played in eight stadiums across five cities.
In the final match, After a 3-3 tie score in extra time, Argentina defeated France, winning 4-2 on penalties to claim their third world cup.
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it’s first since 1986, and became the first non-European country to do so since 2002. This is probably the reason why many felt they haven’t won the title before, 1986 to 2022 is way too long.
However, The French player Kylian Mbappé won the Golden Boot for scoring the most goals (eight) throughout the competition, becoming the first player to do so since Geoff Hurst in the 1966 World Cup final.
Also, Lionel Messi, the captain of Argentina, won the best player in the competition, and he was awarded the Golden Ball.
The Golden Glove and Young Player Awards were given to the best goalkeeper and best young player, respectively, and went to teammates Emiliano Martnez and Enzo Fernández.
Now you know that Argentina has won a FIFA World cup, and it’s not only the 2022 edition. They were the champion in 1978, 1986, and 2022 making them one of the most successful teams in the tournaments.