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WORLD CUP HISTORY Argentina
WORLD CUP APPEARANCES
17
WORLD CUP RECORD
42-14-21
BEST FINISH
Winner (1978, 1986)
GOALS SCORED (RANK)
131 (3rd)
FINISH
2nd
Argentina netted the most goals at the first World Cup, scoring 18 times in five games. After going 3-0 in group play, the team defeated the United States to advance to the Final against the hosting country, Uruguay. Though Argentina lost 4-2 and finished runner-up, Guillermo Stábile was the tournament’s leading scorer with eight goals.
A First Round loss to Sweden at the 1934 World Cup eliminated Argentina with just one game played. Argentina had leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but ultimately lost 3-2.
Did Not Participate
1942
1946
World Cup Not Held
1950
1954
Did Not Participate
After missing several World Cups, Argentina returned in 1958. The team finished 1-0-2 with a victory over Northern Ireland and losses to West Germany and Czechoslovakia. The record placed Argentina last in its group.
Though Argentina’s 1-1-1 Group Stage record matched England, the English team had a superior goal average that moved it on to the Knockout Stage in favor of Argentina.
Argentina’s 2-1-0 record earned a second-place Group Stage ranking that advanced the team to the Knockout Stage. However, a Quarter-finals matchup with hosting England resulted in Argentina’s elimination.
Did Not Participate
Argentina did not qualify for the 1970 World Cup, but the country has participated in every tournament since. In 1974, Argentina advanced to the Second Round, where it went 0-1-2 and finished with a final ranking of eighth.
FINISH
1st
HOST
In 1978, the World Cup visited the Argentinian cities of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Mar del Plata, Rosario and Mendoza. After navigating to the Final, Argentina defeated the Netherlands to claim its first World Cup title. Mario Kempes, who scored twice in the championship game, was the tournament’s leading scorer with six goals.
Argentina overcame an opening 1-0 loss to Belgium to win its next to games and reach the Second Round. There, its title defense came to an end with losses to Italy and Brazil.
FINISH
1st
Argentina’s second World Cup title came in 1986. In the Knockout Stage, the team defeated Uruguay, England and Belgium to reach the Final. Argentina then overcame West Germany 3-2 with Jorge Burruchaga scoring the go-ahead goal in the 84th minute.
FINISH
2nd
The reigning champions got off to a slow start, finishing third in group play with a 1-1-1 record. It was enough to qualify for the Knockout Stage, though, where Argentina defeated Brazil, Yugoslavia and Italy to reach the Final for the third time in four World Cups. In a rematch of the 1986 Final, Argentina lost 1-0 to West Germany.
Another deep World Cup run was not meant to be. Argentina advanced to the Knockout Stage with a 2-0-1 record in group play, but bowed out in the Round of 16, falling 3-2 to Romania.
The Group Stage couldn’t have gone much better for Argentina, as the country finished with a 3-0-0 record and didn’t allow a single goal. In the Round of 16, Argentina advanced past England on penalty kicks, but lost to the Netherlands in the Quarter-finals.
For the first time in 40 years, Argentina failed to make it out of the Group Stage. The team finished 1-1-1 but placed third in its group, with Sweden and England both posting 1-2-0 records.
Argentina’s 2-1-0 Group Stage record included a +7 goal differential. The team defeated Mexico in the Round of 16, but fell to the World Cup host, Germany, in the Quarter-finals.
The Knockout Stage was eerily familiar for Argentina. Just like four years earlier, the team met Mexico in the Round of 16, winning 3-1. Germany then eliminated Argentina in the Quarter-finals, just as it had in 2006.
FINISH
2nd
Argentina traveled to nearby Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. After a 3-0-0 Group Stage, Argentina eliminated Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands to set up a Final with Germany. The two countries met in the championship game for the third time, having split the first two matches. Germany won 1-0 in extra time.
A third-place finish in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier earned Argentina a spot in the 2018 tournament. Argentina is one of seven participants with World Cup championship-winning experience, joining Brazil, England, France, Germany, Spain and Uruguay.

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