Argentina has been known as one of the best soccer countries, producing fantastic players. This includes the 1986 squad that won the World Cup led by the legendary Diego Maradona.
After Maradona’s time, Lionel Messi became the new king of Argentine soccer. Messi is arguably the greatest soccer player of all time with a bevvy of achievements, but the World Cup has always eluded him. Before determining Argentina’s chances of winning the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, let’s first look at their previous campaigns.
Argentina’s previous runs at the World Cup
The World Cup has been a mixed bag for Argentina since their 1986 win. They have been relatively successful with their two World Cup Final berths, but aside from those, the furthest they have been in the quarter-finals. Across all those runs, two are the most important heading into this 2022 edition.
The 2014 World Cup will be the motivation
As they reached the final in 2014 and were just one goal short of victory, Argentina was at their peak. This should motivate the current squad because they were similarly seen as possible contenders heading into that edition of the event.
Now, they are ready to summon that same energy to succeed this time, just in time for Messi’s final run for Argentina.
Bouncing back from the 2018 World Cup
The 2018 World Cup was a disaster for Argentina because they came in with massive expectations. They only finished 16th, a big bump in the road that led to a redemption campaign in 2022.
The top World Cup 2022 contenders alongside Argentina
Argentina is tapped as one of the favourites to win the World Cup, but three other teams join them. These teams are Brazil, defending World Cup champions France, and England. Here are reasons why they are contenders.
- They are armed with the most stacked Brazilian squad of the past two decades. Neymar Jr. leads the pack with immense skill but does not forget his forward partner Vinícius Júnior.
- On the defensive end, veteran and team captain Thiago Silva will lead his team with physicality and smart movements. They are talented at stopping teams from scoring, but they also have the speed to counterattack.
- Led by manager Adenor ‘Tite’ Leonardo Bacchi, Brazil has supreme tactics with precise passing and supreme defending.
- Despite having targets on their backs, France still has the World Cup-winning core from 2018. Kylian Mbappé is the clear top star, but Karim Benzema is also a talented player who just won the Ballon d’Or award.
- Hugo Lloris and Paul Pogba lead the veterans from the past World Cup. They are stable players in their positions that will help the rest of the team to be more confident.
- Lloris will lead the defence in between the goalposts. Questions surround Raphaël Varane’s health, but if he’s okay, this French defence is formidable with him, William Saliba, Theo Hernandez, and Benjamin Pavard.
- Didier Deschamps is still at the helm as manager and will be ready to use his counterattacking brilliance and focus on playing as a united force.
- England has Harry Kane, one of the best strikers in the world. He will be the focal point, but over the past few years, he has made marked improvements as a playmaker, which will be helpful for England’s attack during the 2022 World Cup.
- Rising stars like Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham will be new to the biggest stage of football, but they are ready to prove themselves as England’s top stars.
- England has some holes in their defence, but Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw want to prove they’re still world-class players by proving it on the biggest stage for their country.
What are the odds of Argentina winning the World Cup?
Argentina is just behind Brazil as the top favourite squad to win the prestigious tournament. This is amazing momentum for Argentina because a few months before the event, most people tapped Brazil and France as the only favourites for the event. Now, Argentina has leapfrogged France as the second-biggest favourite for the 2022 World Cup.
This is a big deal because more people see Argentina as a legitimate contender for the trophy. It is important to note that momentum is a big part of this, and since Argentina has been stellar in 2022, their chances of winning this World Cup have skyrocketed.
How Argentina’s biggest stars need to perform at the World Cup
Finding the right ways to win has been crucial to Argentina’s success in 2022. With the World Cup set to end the year, the stars need to step up. Here are the biggest Argentine stars in the upcoming World Cup.
Lionel Messi will have to show why he’s the best player
Messi has been hailed as one of the best players in the world since he debuted for Barcelona and Argentina. He is the player you’re always down to watch, even when playing online casino games while the TV is on.
Messi’s magic will be needed for Argentina to win the World Cup. He has been world-class at this event multiple times, with his best performance coming in 2014 when he led Argentina to the final, where they lost to Germany.
Lautaro Martínez has to cement himself as a top forward
While Messi is the biggest threat to any opponent, Lautaro is the second star to him. For Inter Milan, he has been stellar as he won Serie A back in 2021 with his goal-scoring. Now, his job is to be the perfect partner to Messi with his goal-scoring.
Aside from that, Lautaro also needs to show his playmaking chops because there are other strong players in the forward line, like Ángel Di Maria and Giovani Lo Celso.
Emiliano Martínez needs to keep clean sheets
In his stint with Argentina, Emi Martínez has been stellar. Outside of Messi, he was the biggest reason they won the 2021 Copa America with fantastic saves throughout the tourney. He has to do it all over again with more opponents this time. South America has strong teams, but he will also have to go against European squads at this event.
It will be a tough test for him, but Emi has proven to be a top-tier GK for Argentina and his Premier League stint. He will have a huge load to carry as a GK, but that is his role, and the team expects him to perform at his highest level.
Argentina is in peak form just in time for the World Cup
Since 2019, Argentina has been on a tear with 35 straight matches with no losses. This is the longest active unbeaten run in the world and is close to the longest streak in history. This run has involved multiple matches, including the Copa America run, where they beat Brazil to win the coveted trophy.
Why the 35-match winning streak is crucial
This streak is proof that Argentina can sustain success over a long period. They just have to keep it up during the biggest event in the soccer world, which will be an arduous task, but they are ready to show their mettle by keeping this confidence and momentum up at the World Cup.
The team is playing at their peak at the right time
With their peak performance in the past three years, it will be challenging to knock them off their perch. However, they should not be complacent because all of the teams at the World Cup will look to end their streak. This should be the driving force behind Argentina’s success at this event.
Why Argentina’s defence is their key to World Cup glory
While their offence will not be questioned due to Messi’s presence, Argentina will have to show a stout defence at the World Cup. Emi is between the goalposts, but the players in front of him will have to perform too.
Argentina has a deep talent pool of defenders
As you look into Argentina’s squad, you will see some underrated players who can stop other elite forwards from various teams. Here are some of them.
- Christian Romero
- Nicolás Otamendi
- Lisandro Martínez
- Nahuel Molina
- Nicolás Tagliafico
- Gonzalo Montiel
- Juan Foyth
What are manager Lionel Scaloni’s strategies?
Ever since he took over in 2018 after the World Cup, Scaloni has been stellar for this team. He took over from Jorge Sampaoli, who had a lacklustre run in 2018. Scaloni has now improved on the model they built in Argentina.
Scaloni prioritises stability
While Argentina is filled with talented players, they can be prone to veering away from what works. They need to be stable with their play, and Scaloni has made that a priority for the team.
Messi is the leader on the pitch, but in the dressing room and tactically, Scaloni preaches stability, translating into solid results for the national team. As long as he’s barking orders from the sideline, fans should expect a stable Argentina squad.
Adjusting on the fly is vital to his managerial style
Measuring a manager’s quality is challenging, but this can be seen in how they can make adjustments on the fly. A good manager will switch or make substitutions if a certain formation is not working. Scaloni does that and makes other changes that any casual viewer can see.
Who are Argentina’s earliest challenges?
Argentina is in Group C, which will have Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Poland. These are all talented squads but not on the same level as Argentina. They have strong players, especially Poland, which has superstar Robert Lewandowski. However, they pale in comparison to Argentina’s stacked squad.
They are the clear favourite in Group C
Argentina has the most stacked team in Group C, with players like Messi and Lautaro leading the way. The other teams do not have players at the same level. The talent discrepancy is huge, and Argentina is motivated to bounce back from its 2018 failure.
International success is another metric you should look at when gauging Argentina. All other countries can have relative success recently, but Argentina will trump them with superior players and coaching.
What are Argentina’s weaknesses heading into the World Cup?
For them to succeed, Argentina needs to be careful with showing its weaknesses. They have to cover them up so they can reliably succeed with their goal of making it far and winning the World Cup.
- Overreliance on Messi can be an issue – Messi is arguably one of the best players in the World Cup, but he does not need to be the hero every time. They need to show that other players can carry the team to victory so they can buck the notion that they’re a one-man team.
- The defence can be exploited – Argentina has some strong defenders like Romero and Otamendi. Still, they need to be on their A-game because they can get exploited by quicker forwards.
- Midfielders will have to play at their peak every game – The Argentine midfielders are all talented, but they need to keep up with the likes of Brazil and France. It will be a tough challenge, but Rodrigo De Paul and Leandro Paredes must be both physical and clinical.
The Argentina World Cup 2022 run will be a fantastic experience
The Argentine squad brings immense gravity to the 2022 World Cup. Expect this tournament to be filled with exciting and fantastic matches, from the group stage to the finals. BC Game has the freshest and most competitive odds on every match for every punter to bet on.