How Has Argentina Performed in Previous World Cups?
When Argentina and the World Cup come up in the same sentence, most fans will also think of Diego Maradona. The footballer is revered amongst the Argentinian fans and helped them to World Cup glory in 1986, with an outstanding individual performance in that tournament. Unfortunately, that would be the only time Diego Maradona won the World Cup for Argentina, but how have they fared otherwise?
Argentina played in the inaugural World Cup that was held in 1930, in Uruguay. Only 13 nations entered the competition, and they were drawn into 4 groups with the winners of each group advancing to the semi-finals. Argentina topped their group and headed to the semi-finals where they beat the United States, and then faced the host nation Uruguay in the finals. They were beaten in front of a crowd of 68,000 Uruguayans, but their second place finish in the World Cup was a great debut run.
It would take Argentina 48 years, for them to reach the finals again. In 1978, when they hosted the World Cup, Argentina were placed into a tough group with France, Italy and Hungary. They managed a second place finish in the group to advance to the second round. Here, they were placed into a group with Brazil, Poland and Peru. Finishing in first place in that group, they then advanced to the finals where they played against the Netherlands. Whilst they were playing at home, Argentina were not the favourites to win the game as the Netherlands had reached the finals in the previous edition of the World Cup as well, where they were narrowly beaten by West Germany. The Argentinians scored first but the Netherlands had a late equaliser, sending the game into extra time. Then, the Argentinians scored two more goals to clinch their first World Cup title.
In the next World Cup, which was held in 1982 in Spain, Argentina could not replicate their success. Fielding the 21 year old, lesser known, Diego Maradona, they only managed to reach the second group stage, where they were knocked out by Brazil and Italy. In 1986, Argentina returned to the World Cup, and Maradona, who was now 25 years old, captained his side. Maradona, who played in Napoli at that time, helped guide his side to the top of the group table, and they advanced to the knockout rounds. In their first game, they faced two time winners Uruguay, who they beat 1-0. In the quarter finals they played against England, in what would become one of the most highly talked about games in World Cup history. Maradona scored two goals in the match, leading his side to a 2-1 victory, and both goals were highly memorable for quite opposite reasons.
Maradona opened the scoring in the 51st minute when he ran forward to receive a long ball into the English box, and the Argentine captain jumped up and punched the ball over the goalkeeper into the goal. The referee did not have a clear view of what happened, and the goal stood, giving Argentina the lead. His second goal, scored 4 minutes later, was pure magic. Receiving the ball at the halfway line, Maradona ran past the English midfield and defence, before finally sending the ball into the English goal. His run was legendary, zigzagging past the English players with ease before scoring.
In the following game Argentina beat Belgium, and that put them through to the finals, where they faced Germany. Argentina scored twice before the hour mark, but then by the 80th minute, Germany had brought the game level. In the last 10 minutes of the match, Argentina scored 1 more goal, to put the score at 3-2, and with that goal they won the World Cup for a second time.
Argentina returned to the World Cup in 1990, with Diego Maradona looking to replicate the success the country achieved 4 years before. They scrambled past the group stage, barely making the knockout round, but once through, Argentina hit their top gear. They beat Brazil, Yugoslavia and Italy to reach the finals once again. Facing Germany, the Argentinians felt confident that history would repeat itself and they would win their third World Cup. This was not to be, as the Germans opened the scoring in the 85th minute, and Argentina could not equalise. They finished second place, and this was the last World Cup for Diego Maradona.
After reaching the quarterfinals in the World Cups of 1998, 2006 and 2010, Argentina reached the finals once more in 2014. Their captain, the 26-year-old Lionel Messi, had brought his team to its first final in 28 years, and there they faced Germany for a third time. The match ended 0-0 after full time, sending the game into extra time. 7 minutes before the game would head into a penalty shootout, Germany opened the scoring. With Argentina unable to respond to the late goal, Germany won their 4th World Cup title, and Argentina won their third runners up medal.
Argentina’s Qualification Route to the World Cup
Argentina qualified for the 2022 World Cup relatively comfortably. Playing in the CONMEBOL group qualifiers, they had to play 18 games in the group of 10, and the top 4 teams would secure berths to the competition. Argentina qualified on November 16, 2021, a whole year before the World Cup would start. They finished in second place, behind group leaders Brazil.
Argentina’s Ranking – A Steady Upwards Climb
At the start of the World Cup qualifiers, Argentina were 9th in the World Rankings. After securing a berth in the World Cup and also winning the 2021 Copa America, they shot up the rankings to sit in third place.
Who is Likely to Play for Argentina at the World Cup?
In goal, Argentina can play either Franco Armani, who plays in the domestic league for River Plate, or Emiliano Martinez, who plays for Aston Villa in the Premier League.
In defence, they have plenty of options, including the veteran Nicolas Otamendi, as well as some younger players in Nicolas Tagliafico, Marcos Acuna, Cristian Romero and Lisandro Martinez.
Argentina have a huge wealth of options for their midfield, including some more experienced players such as Angel Di Maria, Manuel Lanzini, Leandro Paredes, as well as younger players such as Exequiel Palacios, Alexis Mac Allister, Giovani Lo Celso and more.
In attack, they have their captain Lionel Messi, who turned 35 in July, as well as some key players such as Paulo Dybala, Giovanni Simeone, Angel Correa, and Lautaro Martinez.
How to Bet on Argentina at the World Cup
Argentina are definitely World Cup title contenders with their team that recently won the Copa America. There are many bets that you can place on Argentina and on the individual Argentine players in the upcoming World Cup.
Golden Boot Bet
The golden boot is the award given to the player that scores the most goals in the World Cup. In Argentina’s squad, there are plenty of goalscorers who will no doubt try to prove themselves at the World Cup. Lionel Messi is going to be a top pick for this award, as he was the top goalscorer in the Copa America and he is also Argentina’s leading goalscorer. A close second may be Lautaro Martinez, who has scored 20 goals for his country and also had a brilliant season for Inter Milan in 2022, scoring 21 goals from 35 appearances.
Golden Glove Bet
The golden glove is an award given to the best goalkeeper in the World Cup. Emiliano Martinez, the first choice keeper for Argentina, won the golden glove in the 2021 Copa America, and as he plays weekly in the Premier League, he definitely has the talent to help his team reach far in the competition, thus becoming a definite candidate for the golden glove.
Golden Ball Bet
The player with the best overall performance in the World Cup is awarded the golden ball. This award is not necessarily given to a player who wins the World Cup, but instead to a player whose performances over the course of the World Cup helps his team reach far. In 2014, for example, Argentina reached the finals but did not win, and Lionel Messi was awarded the golden ball. He is a prime candidate for the award this year, and if he can help his team reach the latter stages of the World Cup, he may win the golden ball.
There are many other player bets that you can find in the player props category. These are mostly bets on how many goals a player scores in a game. You may be able to find bets on Lionel Messi to score during a game, or Lautaro Martinez to score, Lionel Messi to open the scoring, and many more.
The bets are not only limited to players, as you find hundreds of bets on each game in the World Cup. You may also find bets on how far Argentina will reach in the World Cup, and also on whether they will go all the way and win the title.