Argentina

The past
Argentina have yet to miss the finals of a FIFA Futsal World Cup, a feat only matched by one other South American side, Brazil. Their best result to date came at Chinese Taipei 2004, where they made it to the semi-finals and eventually took fourth place. Prior to that, they had been eliminated at the second group stage at Netherlands 1989, Hong Kong 1992 and Guatemala 2000, while at Spain 1996, they fell at the first hurdle.

The present
Having played in the three previous editions of the tournament under Fernando Larranaga (currently the team's coordinator), new coach Sergio Lopez has inherited a squad of considerable experience: team captain Carlos Sanchez, Javier Guisandes and Leandro Planas will be taking part in their fourth FIFA Futsal World Cup, Diego Giustozzi and Esteban Gonzalez their third, and Hernan Garcias and Fernando Wilhelm their second. Debutants such as Santiago Elias, Sebastian Corazza and Maximiliano Rescia will bring their youth and energy to a side that lost just once, against Brazil in the semi-final, at the recent Copa America.

The future
"On the whole, the Copa America was a positive experience. With the exception of the Brazil game, when we paid dearly for our mistakes, we were always in contention and played quite well. Looking ahead to the World Cup, we'll try to focus on being a little more attack-minded." Argentina coach Sergio Lopez.

Facts
Former stars
Juan Avalos (1989, 1992), Alberto Carfagna (1989, 1992), Gabriel Valarin (1992), Pablo Parilla (1992, 1996), Augusto Monaco (2000), Rodrigo Petillo (1996, 2000, 2004).

Key players
Santiago Elias (goalkeeper), Carlos Sanchez (defender), Sebastian Corazza (defender), Diego Giustozzi (defender), Esteban Gonzalez (pivot), Hernan Garcias (wide player), Fernando Wilhelm (wide player).

Qualifying stats
Argentina qualified by virtue of their third-place finish at the 2008 Copa America, where they won three and lost one of their games, scoring ten goals and conceding eight. Their top scorers there were Hernan Garcias and Maximiliano Rescia (two apiece).

The numbers game
9 - The number of goals scored by Carlos Sanchez at FIFA Futsal World Cups: two at Spain 1996, three at Guatemala 2000 and four at Chinese Taipei 2004.