Portal:Football in Argentina

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The Football in Argentina Portal

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Football is the most popular sport in Argentina and has more registered participants than any other sport played in the country. 90% of Argentines declare support of an Argentine football club.

Football was introduced to Argentina in the latter half of the 19th century by British immigrants in Buenos Aires. The first Argentine league was contested in 1891, making it one of the oldest leagues outside Great Britain and the Argentine Football Association (AFA) was formed in 1893, being the eighth oldest in the world.

Argentina is one of the seven countries to have won the football World Cup, having done so in 1978 and 1986. They have also won the continental tournament Copa América on fourteen occasions. At youth level; the Argentina Olympic football team has won two Gold Medals and the Argentina Under-20 team has won a record six FIFA U-20 World Cups. There has been a national women's league in Argentine since 1991 and Argentina women's team qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup for the first time in 2007.

Selected article

The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. Argentina was chosen as hosts by FIFA in July 1966. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3-1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina who became the fifth team (after Uruguay, Italy, England, and West Germany), to be both hosts and world champions.

A controversial fact surrounding the 1978 World Cup was that Argentina had suffered a military coup only two years before the cup. Because of this, some countries, most notably the Netherlands, considered publicly whether they should participate in the cup. Despite this, all teams eventually participated without restrictions. Controversy continued to surround the host, Argentina, as all of their games in the first round kicked off at night, giving them the advantage of knowing where they stood at each stage.

The final, Argentina vs Netherlands, was also controversial, as the Dutch accused the Argentines of using stalling tactics to delay the match. The host team came out late and questioned the legality of a plaster cast on René van de Kerkhof's wrist, which the Dutch claimed allowed tension to build in front of a hostile Buenos Aires crowd. The Netherlands refused to attend the post-match ceremonies after the match ended. Argentina won the final 3-1 after extra time, with two goals from Mario Kempes, who was also the tournament's top scorer with six goals.

Selected picture

Lionel Messi competing in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in a match against Brazil
Credit: Flickr user Andre Kiwitz

Lionel Messi competing in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in the semi-final match against Brazil. The Argentina national football team won the tournament (beating Nigeria 1–0 in the final) and collected Olympic Gold medals for the second time in succession.

Selected biography

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Lionel Andrés Messi (/ˈlɒnɛl ænˈdrɛs ˈmɛs/; born 24 June 1987 in Rosario) is an Argentine footballer who plays for Spanish La Liga club FC Barcelona and the Argentine national team. Messi is considered to be one of the best football players of his generation, having received several Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations by the age of 21. He was selected as both the FIFPro and World Soccer Magazine Young Player of the Year for three years running from 2005–2008. His playing style and ability have drawn comparisons to football legend Diego Maradona. Indeed, Maradona himself declared Messi his "successor".

Messi began playing football at a young age and his potential was quickly identified by FC Barcelona. He left Newell's Old Boys' youth team in 2000 and moved with his family to Europe, as Barcelona offered treatment for his growth hormone deficiency. Making his debut in the 2004–05 season, he broke the La Liga record for the youngest footballer to play a league game, and also the youngest to score a league goal. Major honours soon followed as Barcelona won La Liga in Messi's debut season, and won a double of the league and UEFA Champions League in 2006. His breakthrough season was in 2006–07: he became a first team regular, scoring a hat-trick in El Clásico and finishing with 14 goals in 26 league games. Perhaps his most successful season was the 2008–09 season, in which Messi scored 38 goals to play an integral part in a treble winning campaign.

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Brief in-the-news coverage of Football in Argentina is also available at Sports current events.

  • July 27: Higuaín leaves Napoli for Juventus
  • June 30: Messi speaks of Argentina exit after losing Copa América Centenario over penalties
  • June 24: Messi sets scoring record for Argentina; defeats USA in Copa América semis
  • June 20: Argentina beats Venezuela 4-1 in Copa América quarters; Messi equals Argentina's scoring record
  • December 20: Barça beat River Plate 3-0 to win third FIFA Club World Cup
Sports current events | Wikinews Football

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