Argentina’s history in the FIFA World Cup goes back to the first-ever edition of the tournament back in 1930. They reached the final of that edition, but were outclassed by Uruguay in the summit clash. 

It took them 58 years to reach the final once again and when they did it, under the leadership of Luis Menotti, they ended a long-lasting wait for their fans. They defeated Netherlands 3-1 in extra time to win their first-ever title, and added another one to their tally eight years later in 1986. 

FIFA World Cups won by Argentina 

FIFA World Cups won by Argentina


Final opponent






West Germany


Argentina at 1978 World Cup

Argentina hosted the mega event for the first time in their history and all eyes were on Luis Menotti’s men, who entered the tournament as the favourites. They had some tough competitors like the Dutch side starred by Johan Cruyff and the defending champions West Germany, but they managed to overcome all difficulties. 

The Albiceleste were placed in a tough group, which also had Italy, France and Hungary. They finished second in the group with two wins and a defeat (to Italy) and progressed to the second round. 

They were up against Netherlands in the final, who had lost the last edition’s final as well. Mario Kempes’ early goal for the hosts was cancelled out by a late equaliser from Dirk Nanninga. In extra time, Kempes scored again before Bertoni gave them a two-goal cushion.

Argentina won their first-ever FIFA World Cup in front of their home fans that edition and it was the beginning of a golden era in their football history. 

Argentina at 1986 World Cup

Diego Maradona inspired Argentina to one of the greatest ever World Cup triumphs in 1986. This was the edition where the current format of 32 teams was introduced for the first time and head coach Carlos Billardo steered the 78 champions into the round of 16. 

They had a few tricky outings in the knockouts, facing former champions Uruguay and England, but Maradona was not to be fazed by any challenge. In the quarter-finals against England, he scored the infamous “hand of god” goal, followed by what many believe is the goal of the century to take them into the finals. 

Maradona scored twice again in the semi-finals against Belgium, setting up a date with European hotshots West Germany for the title. Goals from Jose Luis Brown and Jorge Valdano gave them a two-goal lead but the Germans, just like they did in the 1954 final, fought back to level the scores. 

Unfortunately for them, the joy did not last long as Argentina had scored the winner just three minutes after their second goal. Jorge Burruchaga’s 84th minute strike sealed the deal for Billardo’s team and Maradona, who was awarded the Golden Ball, became a world champion in international football.

Photo Credit: Alamy