The past
Unlike its male counterpart, the Argentinian women's football team has a relatively short history. Even so, they have steadily improved over the years, particularly since Carlos Borrello took charge in 1998. His first major feat was to guide them to the FIFA Women's World Cup USA 2003, where his team of rookies lost their three games, conceding 15 goals and scoring only one in the process. Their finest achievement to date was winning the South American Women's Championship in 2006, beating Brazil for the first time and in front of their own fans to book the sole automatic qualification spot for Beijing 2008.

The present
Unfortunately for the Albicelestes, they were unable to build on that historic result at China 2007, where they failed to recover after a crushing 11-0 defeat to Germany in their opening game. A subsequent 1-0 loss to Japan and a 6-1 reverse against England saw them exit the FIFA Women's World Cup finals in the group phase for the second time running.

The future
"The World Cup left a bitter taste in the mouth but at the same time we learnt some things that we need put to good use to correct our mistakes and get our preparations right. A few of the youngsters have responded and they'll get their chance. I'm confident we can do well in Beijing." Coach Carlos Borrello drops a big hint that rising stars Florencia Mandrile, Catalina Perez, Gabriela Chavez and Emilia Mendieta will have important roles to play in the transitional phase the team is undergoing.

Facts and figures

Former stars
Marisa Gerez (midfielder) and Marisol Medina (forward).

Key players
Romina Ferro (goalkeeper), Eva Gonzalez (defender), Rosana Gomez (midfielder) and Maria Belen Potassa (forward).

Qualifying statistics
Argentina were virtually flawless in the South American Women's Championship in November 2006, ending the tournament unbeaten with six wins and a draw, scoring 21 goals and conceding only one.

The numbers game
0: This is Argentina's first appearance at a Women's Olympic Football Tournament.