In 2021, Argentina won the Copa América in Brazil and ended a 28-year streak without titles, qualified four days before the World Cup in Qatar 2022 and remained undefeated in 27 games, with 17 wins and 10 draws.
“It is to be proud and to thank the players. The year is magnificent, I would say dreamed, for winning the Cup, qualifying for the World Cup and because we remain undefeated”, Coach Lionel Scaloni said on Tuesday after Argentina drew goalless with Brazil in the last game of the year.
The conquest of the Copa América this year was also the long-awaited first title with the absolute of Lionel Messi, who knew how to be world champion with the Sub’20 in Holland in 2005 and Olympic champion with the Sub’23 in Beijing 2008.
With four days remaining for the end of the South American Qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, and despite the fact that it has not yet been defined what will happen to Brazil-Argentina, which was suspended in September at five minutes, Canarinha and Albiceleste lead the classification with 35 and 29 points, respectively.
Brazil got the classification in the thirteenth day and Argentina did it this Tuesday, after drawing with Brazil and thanks to results that benefited it.
Ecuador with 23 points and Colombia with 17 (-1 goal difference) occupy the other qualifying places.
They are followed by Peru with 17 (-5 goal difference), Chile with 16 (-1), Uruguay with 16 (-7), Bolivia with 15, Paraguay with 13 and Venezuela with 7.
“We qualified for the World Cup four dates in advance and with one game without playing (the one postponed against Brazil). They know that I don’t like to enlarge things, but it is to be really proud of this team for having achieved qualification so far from the end”Scaloni stated.
La Albiceleste has 27 games without losing, the best streak in the world today, and is four games away from equaling the record set by coach Alfio Basile with Argentina between 1991 and 1993.
Argentina’s 2021 began with a 1-1 draw with Chile for the Qualifiers and continued with a 2-2 against Colombia.
In his debut in the Copa América, he achieved his third equality in a row, a 1-1 against the Red.
Then came the triumphs against Uruguay (1-0), Paraguay (1-0) and Bolivia (4-1) for the group stage.
In the quarterfinals they beat Ecuador (3-0), in the semifinals they beat Colombia on penalties after equalizing without goals and in the final they became champion by beating Brazil 0-1 at Maracana.
The positive streak continued in the Qualifiers with victories against Venezuela (1-3) and Bolivia 3-0, a draw against Paraguay (0-0), triumphs against Uruguay (3-0), Peru (1-0) and Uruguay ( 0-1) and the goalless draw against Brazil on Tuesday.
In total, in 2021 Argentina played 16 games, of which they won 10 and drew 6, not counting the suspended match against Brazil after five minutes that went 0-0.
SOMETHING MORE THAN NUMBERS
2021 was not only a positive year due to the results, but also because the coach managed to define a fixed starting eleven and a specific style of play.
Goalkeeper Emiliano ‘Dibujos’ Martínez and defender Cristian ‘Cuti’ Romero were the two great revelations de la Albiceleste and established themselves as undisputed starters.
The defenders Nahuel Molina, Nicolás Otamendi and Marcos Acuña; midfielders Ángel Di María, Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes and Giovani Lo Celso and forwards Lionel Messi and Lautaro Martínez complete Scaloni’s ideal eleven.
MESSI, BEFORE ITS FOURTH WORLDWIDE AFTER A BRIGHT YEAR
The year of the Paris Saint Germain forward with Argentina was wonderful. He was the top scorer of the Copa América along with Colombian Luis Díaz and also the leader in assists in that tournament, with five.
He also became the top scorer in South American teams with 79 goals, two more than the Brazilian Pelé.
The 34-year-old captain from Albiceleste will play his fourth World Cup with the national team in Qatar.
In Germany 2006 and in South Africa 2010 Argentina lost in the quarterfinals against Germany, in Brazil 2014 they lost the final in added time against the same rival by 0-1 and in Russia 2018 they lost in the round of 16 against France by 4- 3.
That of Qatar will also probably be the last World Cup for two other referents: Nicolás Otamendi and Ángel Di María, 33 years old.
With 396 days before the start of the next World Cup, and despite the fact that there are four rounds left in the qualifying rounds, the Argentines are excited about winning the third World Cup in Qatar, after having celebrated at home in 1978 and in Mexico in 1986.