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

Alejandro Scopelli chases the ball in the 1931 La Plata derby
Credit: Fútbol: Historia y Estadísticas Nº31

Alejandro Scopelli chases the ball in the 1931 La Plata derby. The game ("Clásico Platense" or "Clásico de La Plata" in Spanish) is one of the most fiercely contested derbies in Argentine football. It is played between Estudiantes de La Plata and Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata.

Selected biography

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Diego Maradona (born 30 October 1960) is an Argentine ex-football player, and coach of the Argentine national side. He finished first in a FIFA internet poll on the best player of the 20th century.

Over the course of his professional club career Maradona played for Boca Juniors, FC Barcelona, and, most distinguishedly, SSC Napoli. In his international career, playing for Argentina, he earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals. He played in four FIFA World Cup tournaments, including the 1986 World Cup where he captained Argentina and led them to their victory over West Germany in the final, winning the Golden Ball award as the tournament's best player. In that same tournament's quarter-final round he scored two remarkable goals in a 2-1 victory over England which instantly cemented his fame. The first goal was an unpenalized handball known as the "Hand of God", while the second goal was a spectacular 60-metre weave through six England players, commonly referred to as "The Goal of the Century".

For various reasons, Maradona is considered one of the sport's most controversial and newsworthy figure. He was suspended from football for 15 months in 1991 after failing a doping test for cocaine in Italy, and he was sent home from the 1994 World Cup in the USA for using ephedrine. He retired from playing on his 37th birthday in 1997 and became head coach of the Argentina national football team in October 2008.

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

  • November 28: Football: Messi signs contract extension with FC Barcelona
  • 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
Sports current events | Wikinews Football

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