FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019

FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019

23 May - 15 June

ARG
Argentina ARG

Argentina pose for a photo during the U20 South America in Chile

FIFA U-20 World Cup record

La Albiceleste have won a record six world titles in this age group. Crowned world champions on the first of their 15 appearances in the competition, when a side featuring Diego Maradona and Ramon Diaz swept all before them at Japan 1979, the Argentinians finished runners-up to Brazil at Mexico 1983, the only U-20 World Cup final they have lost to date. Their other five tournament wins came at Qatar 1995, Malaysia 1997, Argentina 2001, Netherlands 2005 and Canada 2007, with the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Juan Roman Riquelme, Pablo Aimar, Javier Saviola, Juan Pablo Sorin and Esteban Cambiasso all tasting glory in the competition.

The road to Poland

Having already qualified for Poland 2019, Argentina lost to Brazil in their final match to just miss out on the U-20 South American title and finish runners-up. In a tournament of highs and lows, they produced their best football when the pressure was on. Recovering from a slow start, the Argentinians booked their place in the final six-team round with a vital win over Uruguay, and then recovered from defeat to Ecuador to beat Venezuela, Colombia and Uruguay, for a second time, to make sure of their world finals place.

The coach

Fernando Batista took on the job just two months before the South American Championships. The brother of former midfielder Sergio, who helped Argentina win the FIFA World Cup™ at Mexico 1986 and then coached the national team between 2010 and 2011, _El_ Bocha began his playing career at Argentinos Juniors’ famed youth academy. All his coaching jobs have come in youth football, the first of them with San Lorenzo in 2000. An assistant to Claudio Ubeda at Korea Republic 2017, Batista also had a brief spell in charge of Armenia’s national youth teams.

The stat

12 - The number of years since Argentina last reached the semi-finals of the competition. Quarter-finalists at Colombia 2011, they went out in the group phase at New Zealand 2015 and again two years ago, and failed to qualify for Egypt 2009 and Turkey 2013 altogether.

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