How many times have Argentina qualified for the quarter-finals of the World Cup? What is their record?
We take a look at Argentina’s World Cup record and how many quarter-finals they have featured in, advanced from or lost.
Argentina, the team currently sitting third in FIFA’s Men’s ranking, head into their quarter final clash with the Netherlands looking to advance to the semis for the sixth time in history. After stuttering in the opening group game against Saudi Arabia, Lionel Scaloni’s team bounced back to clinch their place in the Round of 16 at 2022 Qatar and secured their place in the quarter finals after seeing off Australia.
As far as their track record at the World Cup is concerned, the Albicelestes are in familiar territory. The South Americans have made it to the Last 8 a total of 12 times, from the first edition of the tournament in 1930 when they finished as runners-up to the current competition. During that time they have lifted the trophy twice - when they hosted it in 1978 and against Mexico 86.
Argentina forays in the quarter finals
This will be Argentina’s 12th appearance in the quarter finals at the World Cup, although it’s important to point out that all of the 13 participating teams in the inaugural edition in Uruguay in 1930 entered at the group stage, with the winners from each of the group groups advancing directly to the semi-finals - technically-speaking, the same as the quarter finals. The same applies to subsequent editions where there was a second group stage, with the winners qualifying for the quarter finals - that format was abolished after Spain 82.
At Uruguay 1930, Argentina topped their group with three wins from three (France 1-0, Mexico 6-3 and Chile 3-1). Led by legendary striker Guillermo Stábile, they thrashed the United States 6-1 in the semi-finals to set up a meeting with hosts and South American neighbours Uruguay in the first ever World Cup final. After going in leading at the break, Argentina suffered a meltdown in the second half and ended losing the game 4-2. Stábile ended on eight goals in four games, including a hat trick on his debut.
It would be another 36 years before Argentina found themselves in such a privileged position at the World Cup. Playing all of their games at Hillsborough in Sheffield, they finished second to West Germany in their group on goal difference and faced tournament hosts England in the quarter finals. There were few chances in what was an antagonistic match with three Argentine players going into the book and captain Antonio Rattín infamously sent off for dissent all in the first half. The game was settled by a late Geoff Hurst winner and Argentina’s World Cup was at an end.
The South Americans made it to the Last 8 for the third time at Germany 74, just scraping through the first group stage on goal difference. Their luck ran out in the next round, as the team finished bottom of their group, without a win and on their way home.
Argentina hosted the 1978 edition - one which suffered as a result of alleged match-fixing, political squabbles and ‘disappearances’. Not that César Luis Menotti didn’t assemble a formidable side - his team featured a number of players who would go on to become household names - Mario Kempes, Leopoldo Luque, Daniel Passarella, Alberto Tarantini and Osvaldo Ardiles. Menotti’s men finished top of their group in the second round on goal difference, and would face the 1974 runners-up, a Netherlands side packed with some of the top talent in Europe - Johnny Rep, Neeskens, Rensenbrink, Van der Kerkhof. Two players were missing during the tournament and the final - Johan Cruyff and a promising young Argentinean, called Diego Maradona... In front of an ecstatic, toilet roll-throwing, partisan crowd at the Monumental in Buenos Aires, Argentina eased to a 3-1 victory to lift the World Cup trophy for the first time.
That was the second of five appearances in the World Cup final. Maradona’s Argentina were triumphant at Mexico 86 but were pipped to the trophy by West Germany in a final to forget at Italy 90. Messi and Co. failed to live up to expectation in the final at Brazil 2014, losing a tight game to Mario Götze’s extra-time winner.
But just how many times has Argentina made it to the quarter finals? Let’s take a look: