Argentina national under-23 football team

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Argentina
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Albicelestes
(White and Sky blue)
Association Argentine Football Association
Confederation CONMEBOL (South America)
Head coach Julio Olarticoechea
Captain Victor Cuesta
Most caps Javier Mascherano (18)
Top scorer Domingo Tarasconi (9)
Home stadium Estadio Monumental
FIFA code ARG
First colours
Second colours
First international
 Argentina 11–2 United States 
(Amsterdam, Netherlands; 29 May 1928)
Biggest win
 Argentina 11–2 United States 
(Amsterdam, Netherlands; 29 May 1928)
Biggest defeat
 Nigeria 3–2 Argentina 
(Athens, Georgia, United States; 3 August 1996)
Summer Olympics
Appearances 8 (first in 1928)
Best result Winners (2004, 2008)
Confederations Cup
Appearances 10 (first in 1960)
Best result Champions (1960, 1964, 1980, 2004)

The Argentina Olympic football team represents Argentina in international football competitions in the Olympic Games. The selection is limited to players under the age of 23, except three overage players. The team is controlled by the Argentine Football Association (AFA).

History[edit]

First participation and podium[edit]

The team that won the Silver Medal at the 1928 Olympics.

Argentina took part for the first time in 1928 Summer Olympics held in the Netherlands. The team advanced to the final after defeating United States with a thrashing 11–2 in the first round, and Belgium (6–3) in the second. In the semi-finals, the national team smashed Egypt by 6–0 to qualify for the final against Uruguay.

The first match ended in a 1–1 tie so a second game had to be played three days later. In the decisive match, Uruguay won the tournament after defeating Argentina 2–1, winning the Gold Medal. The Argentine line-up was Bossio, Bidoglio, Paternóster, Médice, Monti, Evaristo, Carricaberri, Tarasconi, Ferreira, Perduca, Orsi.[1]

Amateur teams era[edit]

In 1932 no football tournament was held, restarting the activities in 1936 (where Argentina did not take part), being interrupted due to World War II until 1948. Because of an agreement between FIFA and IOC, only amateur players were allowed to play the football tournaments from then on.

Argentina returned to football competition in the 1960 games held in Rome. The squad was eliminated in the first round after a 3–2 loss to Denmark, although the team won its successive games against Tunisia (2–1) and Poland (2–0). Argentina placed second to Denmark.[2]

Argentina's next participation was in the 1964 Summer Olympics organized by Tokyo, where the team finished in the last position of the groupd after a 1–1 draw with Ghana and a 2–3 loss to Japan.[3] Since then, Argentina had a long absence of the games, not having taken part in the 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980 and 1984 Olympics (being this the first competition where the IOC decided to admit professional players).

Professional teams again[edit]

The national team returned for the 1988 Summer Olympics held in Seoul. The changes made by the IOC allowed the squad to include professional players in its list, some of them with several years playing in Argentine Primera División, such as Luis Islas, Pedro Monzón, Néstor Fabbri, Darío Siviski and Jorge Comas, among others. In the group stage, Argentina tied 1–1 to the United States then defeated South Korea 2–1, finishing second to the Soviet Union and qualifying to the next stage. In the quarter-finals, Argentina lost to Brazil 2–1, being eliminated from the competition.[4]

Since 1992, male competitors must be under 23 years old, then since 1996 23 years old players with three over-23 players allowed per squad. Nevertheless, Argentina did not qualify to play that edition.

Return to the podium[edit]

Argentina came back to the competition in the 1996 edition held in Atlanta, United States. For the first time in the history of the Olympics, the IOC allowed football representatives to register a maximum of three above-23 players. The Argentine players registered under that condition were Diego Simeone, José Chamot and Roberto Sensini. Former senior team captain Daniel Passarella was the manager.

The national team debuted with a 3–1 victory over the United States, then tied to Portugal and Tunisia, both 1–1, to finish first the group and qualify for the second round. In the quarter-finals, Argentina trashed Spain 4–0 which allowed the team to pass to the semi-finals, where it defeated Portugal 2–0. After 66 years since the first final played in Amsterdam, Argentina reached its second Olympic final. The match was played on 3 August 1996 and Argentina lost to Nigeria 2–3.[5] The line-up for the final was: Cavallero; Javier Zanetti, Roberto Ayala, Roberto Sensini, José Chamot; Christian Bassedas, Matías Almeyda, Ariel Ortega, Hugo Morales; Claudio López and Hernán Crespo. Other players squad players included Carlos Bossio, Marcelo Gallardo and Marcelo Delgado.[6] In the next edition of the Games, 2000, Argentina did not participate.

First gold[edit]

The 2004 Summer Olympics were held in Athens and Argentina returned to the competition after the absence in Sydney. The squad, managed by Marcelo Bielsa, won the gold medal for the first time in its history. Before playing the final, Argentina won all the games in the first round, thrashing Serbia and Montenegro 6–0 then defeating Tunisia and Australia. Argentina finished first in the group with no goals conceded. In the quarter-finals, Argentina smashed Costa Rica 4–0, reaching the semi-finals against Italy which it beat 3–0. Argentina played the final against Paraguay on 28 August 2004, winning not only the game (1–0) but the gold medal as well.

Argentina won the competition with an astounding campaign, winning the six matches played, with no goals allowed during the tournament. The team also totaled 17 goals (2.83 per match). The line-up for the final was: Germán Lux; Fabricio Coloccini, Roberto Ayala, Gabriel Heinze; Lucho González, Javier Mascherano, Kily González, Andrés D'Alessandro, Carlos Tevez; Mauro Rosales and César Delgado. The most notable player of the tournament was Tevez, who finished as topscorer with eight goals.[7][8]

Second gold[edit]

Lionel Messi during the Argentina v Brazil match in 2008.

The 2008 Summer Olympics were held in Beijing where Argentina won their second consecutive gold medal. The squad debuted with a 2–1 victory over the Ivory Coast, then defeating Australia (1–0) and Serbia (2–0). In the knockout stage, Argentina eliminated the Netherlands (aet) by 2–1, thrashed Brazil by 3–0 and won the gold medal in the final match against Nigeria, 1–0.

Argentina won all the matches played (six), scoring 11 goals with only two conceded. Some of the most notable players of the tournament were Lionel Messi, Sergio Agüero, Ángel Di María, Éver Banega, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Fernando Gago and Pablo Zabaleta, who would all play for the senior team in successive years. The three over-23 years players were Juan Román Riquelme, Javier Mascherano and Nicolás Pareja.

2012–present[edit]

Anthony Lozano scores the goal for Honduras during the match where Argentina was eliminated in 2016.

Argentina did not qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

For the 2016 competition held in Rio de Janeiro, most of the players called up for the squad were not given permission to play by their respective clubs, including Paulo Dybala, Mauro Icardi, Matías Kranevitter, Luciano Vietto, Ramiro Funes Mori and goalkeeper Augusto Batalla, among others.[9] After the resignation of Gerardo Martino as coach, Julio Olarticoechea (who was the Argentina U-20 coach) was appointed to take over the team.[10]

At Rio 2016, the squad debuted with a 2–0 loss to Portugal, then defeating Algeria 2–1. In the last fixture of group stage, Argentina drew 1–1 with Honduras, which caused the squad finished third in the group, not enough to qualify for the next round.[11] Some of Argentina's players were Ángel Correa, Jonathan Calleri and Cristian Pavón.

Tournament record[edit]

Summer Olympics[edit]

Olympics Record
Year Host Round Pos. GP W D L GS GA
1896 Greece Athens No football tournament
1900 France Paris Did Not Participate
1904 United States St. Louis Did Not Participate
1908 United Kingdom London Did Not Participate
1912 Sweden Stockholm Did Not Participate
1920 Belgium Antwerp Did Not Participate
1924 France Paris Did Not Participate
1928 Netherlands Amsterdam Silver Medal 2nd, silver medalist(s) 5 3 1 1 24 7
1932 United States Los Angeles No football tournament
1936 Germany Berlin Did Not Participate
1948 United Kingdom London Did Not Participate
1952 Finland Helsinki Did Not Participate
1956 Australia Melbourne Did Not Participate
1960 Italy Rome Round 1 6 3 2 0 1 6 4
1964 Japan Tokyo Round 1 10 2 0 1 1 3 4
1968 Mexico Mexico City Did Not Participate
1972 West Germany Munich Did Not Qualify
1976 Canada Montreal Did Not Qualify
1980 Soviet Union Moscow Qualified and Withdrew
1984 United States Los Angeles Did Not Participate
1988 South Korea Seoul Quarter-finals 8 4 1 1 2 4 5
1992 Spain Barcelona Did Not Qualify
1996 United States Atlanta Silver Medal 2nd, silver medalist(s) 6 3 2 1 13 6
2000 Australia Sydney Did Not Qualify
2004 Greece Athens Gold Medal 1st, gold medalist(s) 6 6 0 0 17 0
2008 China Beijing Gold Medal 1st, gold medalist(s) 6 6 0 0 11 2
2012 United Kingdom London Did Not Qualify
2016 Brazil Rio de Janeiro Round 1 11 3 1 1 1 3 4
2020 Japan Tokyo TBD
Total 8/19 2 33 22 6 7 81 32

South American Pre-Olympic[edit]

Year Host Pos. P W T L GF GC
1960  Peru 1st, gold medalist(s) 6 6 0 0 25 6
1964  Peru 1st, gold medalist(s) 5 5 0 0 11 1
1968  Colombia (Did not participate)
1972  Colombia 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 7 1 5 1 7 6
1976  Brazil 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 5 2 1 2 7 8
1980  Colombia 1st, gold medalist(s) 6 5 1 0 13 2
1984  Ecuador (Did not participate)
1988  Bolivia 2nd, silver medalist(s) 7 3 3 1 8 2
1992  Paraguay 4 2 1 1 4 3
1996  Argentina 2nd, silver medalist(s) 7 6 1 0 21 3
2000  Brazil 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 7 3 1 3 12 9
2004  Chile 1st, gold medalist(s) 7 5 2 0 16 8
Total 61 38 15 8 124 48

Team[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following 18 players were selected to participate at the 2016 Summer Olympics.[12][13]

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Gerónimo Rulli (1992-05-20) May 20, 1992 (age 25) 6 0 Spain Real Sociedad
12 1GK Axel Werner (1996-02-28) February 28, 1996 (age 21) 0 0 Spain Atlético Madrid

2 2DF Lautaro Gianetti (1993-11-13) November 13, 1993 (age 23) 5 0 Argentina Vélez Sarsfield
3 2DF Alexis Soto (1993-10-20) October 20, 1993 (age 23) 4 0 Argentina Banfield
4 2DF José Luis Gómez (1993-09-10) September 10, 1993 (age 24) 6 0 Argentina Lanús
6 2DF Víctor Cuesta (1988-11-19) November 19, 1988 (age 28) 6 0 Argentina Independiente
15 2DF Lisandro Magallán (1993-09-27) September 27, 1993 (age 23) 3 0 Argentina Boca Juniors
16 2DF Leandro Vega (1996-05-27) May 27, 1996 (age 21) 2 0 Argentina River Plate

5 3MF Lucas Romero (1994-04-18) April 18, 1994 (age 23) 3 0 Brazil Cruzeiro
8 3MF Santiago Ascacibar (1997-02-25) February 25, 1997 (age 20) 5 0 Argentina Estudiantes
13 4FW Joaquin Arzura (1993-05-18) May 18, 1993 (age 24) 2 0 Argentina River Plate
14 3MF Giovani Lo Celso (1996-04-09) April 9, 1996 (age 21) 6 0 Argentina Rosario Central
17 3MF Mauricio Martínez (1993-02-20) February 20, 1993 (age 24) 5 2 Argentina Rosario Central

7 3MF Cristian Pavón (1996-01-21) January 21, 1996 (age 21) 3 0 Argentina Boca Juniors
9 4FW Jonathan Calleri (1993-09-23) September 23, 1993 (age 24) 6 1 Brazil São Paulo
10 4FW Ángel Correa (1995-03-09) March 9, 1995 (age 22) 6 2 Spain Atlético Madrid
11 4FW Giovanni Simeone (1995-07-05) July 5, 1995 (age 22) 6 1 Italy Genoa
18 4FW Cristian Espinoza (1995-04-03) April 3, 1995 (age 22) 6 0 Spain Villarreal

Notable players[edit]

Former squads[edit]

Honours[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]