Despite coming under huge criticism before, during and after qualification, Argentina invest their World Cup hopes on the shoulders of Diego Maradona, arguably the greatest player ever to play the beautiful game but is yet to convince quite as much as a coach.
“La Albiceleste” had a tortuous qualification campaign, leaving it very late to cement their place and collecting their lowest points tally since the ten-team group system was introduced, but nevertheless, they will go to South Africa with serious hopes of going all the way, and on their day they can beat anyone.
Fans and historians will remember though that they had an equally bad preparation in 1985 to qualify for the Mexico ’86 World Cup and they of course went on to lift the trophy and as disliked as Maradona is by some, he undoubtedly has the respect, experience of the tournament and competitive streak to see that his Argentina side can seriously challenge for the title.
A lot will depend on the performance of who many consider to be the best player in the world right now, Lionel Messi who consistently turns in breathtaking performances for Barcelona but has failed to do so quite so regularly in a blue and white shirt.
Messi has the ability, like his coach in his heyday to win games on his own and if he performs along with the lethal Sergio Aguero up front, Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Mascherano anchoring midfield and Javier Zanetti and Walter Samuel adding years of experience at the back, Argentina should certainly win the group and do look possible contenders to go all the way.