Argentina is one of the most passionate football nations in the world, and their quest for glory on the international stage is one of the most storied in the sport’s history. The South American nation has won the World Cup twice, with their first victory coming in 1978 and their second in 1986. In this article, we will recap these two historic victories and how they took Argentina to the top of the footballing world.
Argentina’s first World Cup triumph came on home soil in 1978. The tournament was held in Argentina, and the hosts were widely expected to win the tournament given the home advantage they had. The Argentine team, managed by César Luis Menotti, had a talented squad, including players like Mario Kempes, Daniel Passarella, and Osvaldo Ardiles.
The tournament got off to a shaky start for Argentina, as they drew with Italy in their opening match. They followed this up with a win over France before suffering a shock defeat to Peru. However, Argentina bounced back in their final group game, thrashing Poland 2-0 to secure a place in the second round.
In the second round, Argentina faced their arch-rivals Brazil in a crunch match. This was a highly anticipated clash, with both teams boasting some of the best players in the world. In the end, it was Argentina who emerged victorious, with Kempes scoring a hat-trick to sink their bitter rivals.
The victory over Brazil gave Argentina the momentum they needed, and they went on to beat Peru and the Netherlands in the semi-final and final, respectively. The final was a tense affair, with Argentina taking the lead through Kempes before the Netherlands equalized. However, Passarella scored a penalty to secure Argentina’s first-ever World Cup triumph.
Eight years later, Argentina won their second World Cup in Mexico. This time, they were managed by Carlos Bilardo, and their squad included footballing legends like Diego Maradona, Jorge Valdano, and Claudio Caniggia. The tournament was seen as Maradona’s World Cup, as the attacking midfielder was in the form of his life and helped carry Argentina through some tough matches.
Argentina started the tournament with a win over South Korea before suffering a shock defeat to Cameroon. However, they bounced back with wins over the Soviet Union and Romania to reach the knockout stages. In the round of 16, they faced their bitter rivals, England, and Maradona scored one of the most iconic goals in football history, dribbling past five England players to score a stunning individual effort.
Argentina went on to beat Belgium in the semi-final before facing West Germany in the final. The match was a tight affair, with Jose Brown scoring a header to put Argentina ahead. Jorge Burruchaga then scored a second to secure Argentina’s second World Cup triumph.
Argentina’s two World Cup victories are a testament to the country’s footballing passion and talent. Both teams had a mix of experience and youth, and they showed great resilience and determination to overcome tough opposition in order to win the trophy. Argentina’s quest for glory is ongoing, with many fans hoping that the national team will add to their two World Cup victories in the future.