Portal:Football in Argentina

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The Football in Argentina Portal

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Football is the most popular sport in Argentina and has more registered participants than any other sport played in the country. 90% of Argentines declare support of an Argentine football club.

Football was introduced to Argentina in the latter half of the 19th century by British immigrants in Buenos Aires. The first Argentine league was contested in 1891, making it one of the oldest leagues outside Great Britain and the Argentine Football Association (AFA) was formed in 1893, being the eighth oldest in the world.

Argentina is one of the seven countries to have won the football World Cup, having done so in 1978 and 1986. They have also won the continental tournament Copa América on fourteen occasions. At youth level; the Argentina Olympic football team has won two Gold Medals and the Argentina Under-20 team has won a record six FIFA U-20 World Cups. There has been a national women's league in Argentine since 1991 and Argentina women's team qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup for the first time in 2007.

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Argentina
The Argentine Football Association (AFA) (Spanish: Asociación del Fútbol Argentino) is the governing body of football in Argentina. It organises the Argentine football league and the Argentina national football team. It is based in Buenos Aires. It also organizes the amateur leagues for women, children, youth, Futsal, and other local leagues, as well as the national women's team.

Around 400 registered football clubs play in the Argentine Football Association league system which is divided into a pyramid of eight leagues, divided at the third tier between the Greater Buenos Aires conurbation and the rest of the country (Interior). Below this level there are a further 249 regional leagues which are affiliated with AFA and compete for the right to enter the league system at the lowest tier.

The Primera División is the highest level of club football in Argentina. it is divided into the Apertura and Clausura championships consisting of two leagues of 19 games each per season. At the end of each season the most successful teams qualify to play in the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana and the least successful are relegated to the second tier; Primera B Nacional which is the only other league which is organised at national level.

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The team of Racing Club posing for pictures prior to their 1967 Intercontinental Cup match against Celtic
Credit: El Gráfico

The team of Racing Club de Avellaneda posing for pictures prior to their 1967 Intercontinental Cup match against Celtic F.C.. After reaching a 2–2 draw over two legs, the teams played a decider match in Montevideo, Uruguay which Racing Club won 1–0, becoming the first Argentinian club to win the trophy.

Selected biography

Messi Barcelona - Valladolid (cropped).jpg
Lionel Andrés Messi (/ˈlɒnɛl ænˈdrɛs ˈmɛs/; born 24 June 1987 in Rosario) is an Argentine footballer who plays for Spanish La Liga club FC Barcelona and the Argentine national team. Messi is considered to be one of the best football players of his generation, having received several Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations by the age of 21. He was selected as both the FIFPro and World Soccer Magazine Young Player of the Year for three years running from 2005–2008. His playing style and ability have drawn comparisons to football legend Diego Maradona. Indeed, Maradona himself declared Messi his "successor".

Messi began playing football at a young age and his potential was quickly identified by FC Barcelona. He left Newell's Old Boys's youth team in 2000 and moved with his family to Europe, as Barcelona offered treatment for his growth hormone deficiency. Making his debut in the 2004–05 season, he broke the La Liga record for the youngest footballer to play a league game, and also the youngest to score a league goal. Major honours soon followed as Barcelona won La Liga in Messi's debut season, and won a double of the league and UEFA Champions League in 2006. His breakthrough season was in 2006–07: he became a first team regular, scoring a hat-trick in El Clásico and finishing with 14 goals in 26 league games. Perhaps his most successful season was the 2008–09 season, in which Messi scored 38 goals to play an integral part in a treble winning campaign.

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