FIFA World Cup™ finals history
Argentina have participated at 16 FIFA World Cups so far, putting them third on the competition’s all-time appearance list. La Albiceleste have featured at every tournament since Mexico 1970 and graced the inaugural edition at Uruguay 1930, where they finished as runners-up. That was the first of the five Finals Argentina have reached; they were crowned champions as hosts in 1978 and at Mexico 1986, and took the silver medal at Italy 1990 and Brazil 2014, as well as going as far as the Second Round at Spain 1982. Argentina finished third in the CONMEBOL standings for Russia 2018 qualifying, reaching the finals on the final matchday with a 3-1 win in Ecuador.

The team
After losing the Copa America Centenario final in 2016, a new era of rebuilding began for Argentina. Lionel Messi made a brief retirement from the national team, with La Albiceleste undergoing a reconstruction process during its fight for a place at Russia 2018.

The coach
Jorge Sampaoli succeeded Edgardo Bauza as Argentina coach on 1 June 2017 after spending one season in charge of Spanish club Sevilla. Following a modest start to his coaching career with various clubs in Peru, Ecuador, and Chile, he made a name for himself as coach of the Chilean national team, guiding them to the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. A year later, Sampaoli led La Roja to their first major honour when they claimed the Copa America title on home soil.

The stat
42 – The total number of World Cup victories Argentina have recorded, putting them fourth in the all-time list behind Brazil (70 wins), Germany (66) and Italy (45).

The former stars
Guillermo Stabile, Daniel Passarella, Mario Kempes, Ubaldo Fillol, Diego Maradona, Oscar Ruggeri, Jorge Burruchaga, Gabriel Batistuta, Diego Simeone, Javier Zanetti, Roberto Ayala, Hernan Crespo, Juan Riquelme