Next up on the Top Ten Past Heroes list are two time World Cup winners Argentina. There is no doubt that Argentina will be one of the hot favorites to take this summers title, especially since Lionel Messi is currently regarded to be the best player in the world. His form has been scintillating this season and there have been many comparing him to one of the best ever, fellow Argentinian Diego Maradona. As it turns out, Maradona is currently the national team manager and will be leading La Albiceleste in South Africa. Check out our top ten players and let us know if there is anyone you think should be added top the list.
Career Clubs: 1976-81 Argentinious Juniors, 1981-82 Boca Juniors, 1982-84 Barcelona, 1984-91 Napoli, 1992-93 Seville, 1993 Newell’s Old Boys, 1995-97 Boca Juniors.
Maradona played 91 times for Argentina, scoring 34 goals. He captained Argentina to World Cup Glory in the Mexico 1986 Finals.In the ’86 Finals he scored his famous “Hand of God” goal which helped knock England out of the World Cup, but he also scored what is considered one of the goals of the centuries in the same match when he dribbled past several English players, before rounding the keeper and slotting home. He also was sent home in disgrace from the 1994 Finals in the United States for failing a drug test.
He currently manages the Argentina National team.
Career Clubs: 1973 Instituto de Cordoba, 1974 Belgrano, 1975-78 Huracan, 1978-88 Tottenham, 1988 Blackburn, 1988-89 Q.P.R, 1989 Fort Lauderdale Strikers, 1989-91 Swindon.
Ardiles played 63 times for Argentina, scoring 8 goals. He appeared in two World Cup Finals ’78 and ’82. He was a midfielder with great dribbling ability which made up for his lack of height (5ft 6in).
He currently coaches the game and like his playing career has been with numerous clubs.
Career Clubs: 1988-89 Newell’s Old Boys, 1989-90 River Plate, 1990-91 Boca Juniors, 1991-2000 Fiorentina, 2000-03 Roma, 2003 Inter Milan (loan), 2003-05 Al Arabi.
Batistuta played 78 times for Argentina, scoring 56 goals. Batistuta scored two World Cup Finals Hat-Tricks, his first came against Greece in the ’94 Finals, his second was against Jamaica in the ’98 Finals. He had an awesome goals ratio and could score anywhere anytime making him one of the deadliest strikers in the world.
Batistuta currently lives with his family in Perth Australia.
Career Clubs: 1970-73 Instituto de Cordoba, 1974-76 Rosario Central, 1977-81 Valencia, 1981-82 River Plate, 1982-84 Valencia, 1984-86 Hercules, 1986-87 First Vienna FC, 1987-90 VSE St. Polten, 1990-92 Kremser SC, 1995 Fernandez Vial, 1996 Pelita Jaya.
Kempes played 43 times for Argentina, scoring 20 goals. He played in three World Cup Finals, ’74,’78 and ’82. In the 1978 Finals he was leading scorer of the tournament with 6 goals. He scored two of those six goals in the World Cup Final against Holland, as Argentina won their First World Cup.
He currently commentates for Spain’s version of ESPN.
Career Clubs: 1985-88 River Plate, 1988-89 Verona, 1989-92 Atalanta, 1992-94 Roma, 1994-95 Benfica, 1995-98 Boca Juniors, 1999-2000 Atalanta, 2000-01 Dundee, 2001-03 Rangers, 2003-04 Qatar SC.
Caniggia played 50 times for Argentina, scoring 16 goals. He played in two World Cup Finals ’90 and ’94. He missed the 1990 World Cup Final against Germany as he had picked up a suspension after receiving two yellow cards in the Tournament, as his team lost to the Germans. In 2002 Argentine coach Daniel Passerella told Caniggia to cut his hair, when he refused to cut his hair he was frozen out of the international team.
Career Clubs: 1979-82 Defensores Unidos, 1982-88 River Plate, 1988-90 Millionarios, 1991 Racing Club, 1992 Brest, 1992 Cerro Porterio, 1993 Olimpia, 1993-94 River Plate, 1994-95 Mandiy, 1995-96 Internacional, 1996-97 Velez Sarsfield, 1997-98 Newells Old Boy’s.
Goycochea played 44 times for Argentina. He was part of the 1990 World Cup team that finished as runners-up to Germany. He got his big break for the national team at the ’90 Finals when he replaced the injured Pumpido in goals, he was an instant hero as in both the quarter-finals and semi-finals he saved penalties against both Yugoslavia and Italy in their penalty-shoot-out wins. He was unlucky not to have saved the German penalty which was scored by Andreas Brehme.
He currently works as a Journalist with Canal 13.
ALFREDO DI STEFANO
Career Clubs: 1943-49 River Plate, 1946-47 Huracan (loanee), 1949-53 Millionarios, 1953-64 Real Madrid, 1964-66 Espanyol.
Di Stefano played with three different Countries, Columbia, 4 times, Spain, 31 times, scoring 23 goals and Argentina 6 times, scoring 6 goals. His place of birth is Argentina so I would recognise him more with Argentina, though he only played 6 times for Argentina. He is probably one of the best players not to play in the World Cup Finals alongside N. Ireland’s George Best. He Received the Ballon d’Or in 1957 and ’59, while playing with Real Madrid as they won 5 European Cups in as many years.
After retiring he took up coaching, among a long list of clubs which included River Plate, Boca Juniors, Valencia and Real Madrid.
Career Clubs: 1956-70 Boca Juniors
Rattin played for Argentina 34 times, scoring 1 goal. He played in two World Cup Finals Tournaments, ’62 and ’66. He captained the team in the ’66 Finals in England. In a now famous incident against England in the Quarter-Finals , when he was sent-off he refused to leave the field of play, it took 10 minutes for Officials to get him off the pitch.
After retiring Rattin entered politics, becoming the first footballer to enter congress.
Career Clubs: 1924-30 Huracan, 1930-35 Genoa, 1935-36 Napoli, 1936-39 Red Star Paris.
Stabile played 4 times for Argentina, scoring 8 goals. In the 1930 World Cup Finals he was the leading goal-scorer with 8 goals, scoring a Hat-Trick on his debut against Mexico, he also scored in the Final against hosts Uruguay, but his team lost 4-2.
He managed the National team between 1939-60. He past away in 1966.
Career Clubs: 1971-75 Newell’s Old Boys, 1975-79 Deportivo Alaves, 1979-84 Real Zaragoza, 1984-87 Real Madrid.
Valdano played 22 times, scoring 7 goals. He played in two World Cup Finals Tournaments ’82 and ’86. He scored in the 1986 World Cup Final as Argentina recorded their first World Cup success, with a 3-2 win over Germanyin Mexico.
After retiring he coached both Valencia and Real Madrid in the Spanish La Liga.