A strong contender since their last World Cup triumph in 1986, Argentina has never really lived up to the hype they bring to the competition, with their players and the style of play. They last reached the finals in 1990 but since then they have been unable to get past the quarter-final stage.
All eyes will be on Argentina’s main man Lionel Messi who will be under massive pressure to perform. The Barcelona striker has scored 28 goals this La Liga. But a trophy-less year with being marred by injuries this has become a rare below par season for him with the Catlans.
Argentina boast of a star studded attacking line with Gonzalo Higuaín, Sergio Agüero, Carlos Tevez and Angel di María. In Javier Mascherano, Argentina has the perfect holding mid-fielder to protect the back four.
The defense is definitely the biggest question mark in the Argentine squad and it would be difficult for them to have stability in the back going ahead in the tournament. Argentina probably has the best front line in the tournament. A weak defense means they need to play the Barcelona type possession football as if they try to over attack by playing a high line their defense will suffer.
In Alejandro Sabella, Argentina has a perfect attack-minded smart coach. He is totally opposite to his preceder, Diego Maradona who let his emotions over-power his thinking by using “freakish” tactics. This lead to Argentina’s exit from the 2010 world cup, after receiving a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of the Germany in the quarter-finals.
Messi himself has a personal point to prove as he has constantly been criticized for “not playing well” and “not playing for the team” in the Argentina shirt. The four time Ballon d'Or winner will be returning from injury and after having broken all possible goal scoring records at Barcelona, he would want to win Argentina’s third World Cup he leads him team onto the pitch in Brazil.