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.

The team
Lionel Messi has been the undisputed focal point of Argentina’s national team for some time, although he is ably supported by an all-star cast including Javier Mascherano, Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Angel Di Maria. Argentina are one of the favourites to secure a place at Russia 2018, in part because of their history, but primarily because of their performances en route to the Final at Brazil 2014.

The coach
Even after taking Paraguay to South Africa 2010 and having been in charge of a club the size of Barcelona, Argentinian tactician Gerardo Martino is currently facing the biggest challenge of his career at the helm of a team expected to win every game. A low-key and pragmatic character, el Tata is shaping Argentina to be a proactive, attractive side as they go in search of success.

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