Solidly built but quick and athletic with it and a match for anyone in the air, Jose Maria Basanta is a versatile performer, able to play anywhere in a three-, four- or five-man defence. The Estudiantes youth product made his debut for El Pincharrata in 2003, when he was 19, and continued his education in a year-long loan spell with Olimpo in the second division, playing a crucial role in their promotion to the top flight in 2007.

After returning to Estudiantes for six months the central defender packed his bags for Mexico to join Monterrey, where he quickly broke into the first team. Basanta has since won three league championships with Los Regiomontanos and three consecutive CONCACAF Champions League titles, the last two of them as captain.

Alejandro Sabella called him up for national duty for the first time in March 2013 and gave him his debut that same month in a Brazil 2014 qualifier against Bolivia, the first of his four appearances in the preliminaries, all of them starts. He has remained part of the Albiceleste set-up ever since.