World Cup Profile: Argentina
At least two of these men will play… probably
From now until the first ball is kicked at the World Cup, The Spoiler shall endeavour to profile each and every nation taking part in the competition. Not just to study their form, but to find out who these people really ARE. Today, to kick things off, it’s the turn of Argentina.
Argentina have qualified for 14 World Cups, winning two of the things – first in 1978, and then in 1986. Some might remember Maradona’s two goals against England in 1986. One where he wowed the planet with a dazzling run, and another where he totally cheated by prodding the ball in with his fist. Despite their vast array of talent, they only qualified as the fourth best South American team during the World Cup qualifiers, but still look worth a punt, with decent odds of around 8/1 on Betfair.
Classic World Cup Moment
The one where Maradona didn’t cheat…
Well, this one’s easy – Lionel Messi. Quite probably the best player in the world, although he famously seems to underperform at international level. He’s second favourite for the Golden Boot, at around 11/1 on Betfair.
Working Class Hero
Every country needs to witness a boy-done-good – it helps to inspire problematic teens to put down their knives and pick up a football. In Argentina, that man is Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez, who managed to drag himself up from the slums of the notoriously dangerous Fuerte Apache in Buenos Aires, and now lives like a wealthy lord of the manor beneath the heavy skies of “the north”. Good for Carlos.
Missing in Action
Esteban Cambiasso – famously the eventual goalscorer after Argentina had put together a string of about two hundred passes against Serbia and Montenegro in the last World Cup, and now the man pulling the strings for Inter Milan. And yet, he hasn’t once made it into one of Maradona’s squads. If he doesn’t go, it’ll be an actual travesty.
Strengths and Weaknesses
It’s fair to say that Argentina have quite possibly the most fearsome attackers in the world – Messi, Higuain, Aguero, Tevez, Milito. On the downside, their weakness appears to be that their bonkers manager has no idea who to play at any given time. An embarrassment of riches.
Of course, there is Messi, aka “Pulga (Flea)”, or Maxi Rodriguez, aka “La Fiera (The Fierce One)”. But the winning nickname belongs to Sergio Aguero, aka “El Kun” – so named because his pals at primary school thought that he bore a resemblance to a Japanese cartoon character called “Kum Kum” (below).
Current Number One in Argentina
Chico Y Nacho, Mi Nina Bonita
If you happen to be taking in an Argentina match, and would like to know what to eat to show your support, it’s simple – beef. In Argentina, they eat absolutely tonnes of the stuff, mainly in the form of big juicy steaks.
Most blatant use of sex to sell football
Popular Argentine model Carolina Ardohain poses with a football and some seriously small outfits.
If Maradona were a film character, he would be…
Tony Manero from Staying Alive – played by John Travolta. For those who don’t know the story, Manero goes from being an expert disco dancer in Saturday Night Fever, to becoming a big dancer on Broadway in Staying Alive. It’s the tale of a fish out of water, attempting to make the most of his talents on the big stage. The parallels are quite astonishing. Here’s the trailer…
The Spoiler Predicts: Semi Finals