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How Many Times Has Argentina Won The World Cup?

Argentina is persistently ranked as the second-best team in South America. They have topped the FIFA World Rankings on many occasions, including as recently as 2017. Argentina is the fifth favorite in Qatar’s upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup Finals. But after a shaky qualifying campaign, many have written them off, with the first World Cup final being held in the Middle East.

But that could be a massive mistake because history has proved that Argentina is not a football team you should write off when the World Cup tournaments are concerned.

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Daniel Passarella

How Many Times Has Argentina Won The World Cup?

The Argentina national football team has won two FIFA World Cups, one in 1978 and one in 1986, making them one of the most successful national teams in the world. Argentina was runner-up three times, in 1930, 1990, and 2014.

1978 fifa world cup winners argentina

1978 World Cup

Mighty Argentina hosted the FIFA World Cup final for the first time in 1978, and it was two years after a military coup that led to a somewhat controversial tournament.

Argentina was on the brink of exiting this tournament in the second round. They needed to beat Peru by at least four clear goals to get through, but in the end, they beat their fellow South Americans by a total of 6 goals before beating the Netherlands in the final match.

daniel bertoni celebrating the world cup victory in 1978

During the final game, Argentina took the lead toward the end of the first half and held onto that lead throughout, only to lose control of the World Cup match with just 8 minutes to go. With both teams deadlocked, the game went into extra time, and Argentina scored twice, winning the World Cup final 3-1.

Mario Kempes, who opened the scoring in the final, was the tournament’s top goalscorer with six goals. While the tournament and their win against Peru were shrouded in controversy, the only thing that the record books show is that Argentina won their first World Cup with relative ease.

Osvaldo Ardiles Argentian Soccer Player Being Carried On The Supporters Shoulders

1978 Argentina Starting Team

Jersey No:Players NamePositionGoalsYellow CardSubstitutions
5Ubaldo FillolGoalkeeper
15Jorge OlguínRight Back
7Luis GalvánCenter Back
19Daniel Passarella (c)Center Back
20Alberto TarantiniLeft Back
6Américo GallegoDefensive Midfielder
2Osvaldo ArdilesCenter Midfielder40 minutes66 minutes
10Mario KempesAttacking Midfielder38 and 105 minutes
4Daniel BertoniRight Midfielder115 minutes
16Oscar Alberto Ortiz Left Midfielder75 minutes
14 Leopoldo LuqueCenter Forward
1Norberto AlonsoMidfielder
3Héctor BaleyGoalkeeper
8Rubén GalvánMidfielder
9René HousemanMidfielder75 minutes
12Omar LarrosaMidfielder93 minutes66 minutes
César Luis Menotti

1986 world cup winners argentina

1986 World Cup

Argentina qualified automatically for the Spanish World Cup finals in 1982 thanks to their status as defending champions, but they ultimately flopped, finishing 11th overall. In Mexico ’86, however, they came back in style and won their second-ever World Cup just eight years after the first.

As with the 1978 World Cup, the 1986 success was also shrouded in controversy, courtesy of the tournament’s best player, Diego Maradona. During their Quarter-Final game against England, he leaped to contest a crossed ball with Peter Shilton, the English goalkeeper and punched it into the back of the net.

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The officials missed the handball, later known as the “Hand of God.” This was also the game where Maradona scored what many fans consider one of the best World Cup goals.

Argentina beat Uruguay, Belgium, and England to the final before clinching the World Cup trophy with a 3-2 victory against West Germany at the Azteca stadium. The same stadium had witnessed the “Hand of God” only seven days earlier.

diego maradona and ricardo rocha at world cup

1986 Argentina Starting Team

Jersey NoNamePositionGoalsYellow CardSubstitutions
18Nery PumpidoGoalkeeper85 minutes
5José Luis BrownSweeper23 minutes
9José Luis CuciuffoCenter Back
19Oscar RuggeriCenter Back
14Ricardo GiustiRight Wing Back
16Julio OlarticoecheaLeft Wing Back77 minutes
2Sergio BatistaDefensive Midfielder
7Jorge BurruchagaCenter Midfielder
83 minutes90 minutes
12Héctor EnriqueCenter Midfielder
81 minutes
10Diego Maradona (c)Center Forward17 minutes
11Jorge ValdanoCenter Forward55 minutes
15Luis IslasGoalkeeper
8Néstor ClausenDefender
23Oscar GarréDefender
21Marcelo TrobbianiMidfielder90 minutes
17Pedro Pasculli
Carlos Bilardo

1978 world cup soccer winners argentina

World Cup Near Misses For Argentina

Argentina is a country where controversy is never far away. Diego Maradona offered the Brazilian left-back a drink spiked with tranquilizers during the half-time break of the 1990 World Cup game against Brazil. He declined.

Maradona was still near the peak of his form, though, so he didn’t need the help of those pills. Instead, his blistering run set Claudio Caniggia for the game’s only goal, sending the Argentina national football team through to the quarter-final.

They would then get the better of Yugoslavia and Italy, both on penalties, before losing to West Germany in 1990 final.

Diego Maradona about to score against peter shilton in 1986

In the five FIFA World Cups that followed this, Argentina failed to make it past the quarter-finals, but they made up for those poor showings in Brazil 2014 when they once again made it to the final and again lost to Germany.

Although many fans think of Argentina as a modern force in world soccer, their success goes back much further as they also finished as the runners-up in the first-ever World Cup final. This tournament was held in Uruguay in 1930 and was contested by just 13 teams over the course of 18 matches.

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Argentina recorded big wins against Mexico and the United States and was beaten by the hosts in the final. Guillermo Stabile finished the tournament as the top goalscorer, going down in FIFA World Cup history as the first-ever golden boot winner.

Maradona lifting the trophy following the win over West Germany in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico

Other Tournaments

Additionally, Argentina won gold medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Football tournaments. Two silver medals in 1928 and 1996 were won before they won their first gold medal. Argentina has won the Under 20 World Cup tournament six times.

Argentina Finals Record At The FIFA World Cup

The following table lists Argentina's results at the FIFA World Cup.
World Cup FinalsRoundOverall Position
1930Final - Runners-Up
1934First Round9th
1958Group Stage13th
1962Group Stage10th
1966Quarter Finals5th
1974Second Group Stage8th
1978Final - Champions1st
1982Second Group Stage11th
1986Final - Champions1st
1990Final - Runners-Up2nd
1994Round Of 1610th
1998Quarter Finals6th
2002Group Stage18th
2006Quarter Finals6th
2010Quart Finals5th
2014Final - Runners-Up2nd
2018Round Of 1616th

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