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Argentina national under-23 football team

  (Redirected from Argentina Olympic football team)

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).

Shirt badge/Association crest
(White and Sky blue)
AssociationArgentine Football Association
ConfederationCONMEBOL (South America)
Head coachJulio Olarticoechea
CaptainVictor Cuesta
Most capsJavier Mascherano (18)
Top scorerDomingo Tarasconi (9)
Home stadiumEstadio Monumental
First colours
Second colours
First international
Argentina Argentina 11–2 United States 
(Amsterdam, Netherlands; 29 May 1928)
Biggest win
Argentina Argentina 11–2 United States 
(Amsterdam, Netherlands; 29 May 1928)
Biggest defeat
 Nigeria 3–2 Argentina Argentina
(Athens, Georgia, United States; 3 August 1996)
Summer Olympics
Appearances8 (first in 1928)
Best result1st, gold medalist(s) Champions (2004, 2008)


First participation and podiumEdit

The team that won the Silver Medal at the 1928 Olympics

Argentina took part for the first time in the 1928 Olympic Games 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. Tarasconi was also the topscorer of the competition with 11 goals.[1]

Amateur teams eraEdit

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 group 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 againEdit

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 beat South Korea by 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 the 1992 edition, the IOC stated that all football players should be under 23 years old, beyond they were professional or not. Coached by Alfio Basile, Argentina went to play the qualification tournament with experienced players such as Diego Simeone, Diego Latorre, Antonio Mohamed, Fernando Gamboa and Leonardo Astrada, who had also won the Copa América one year before.[5] Nevertheless, Argentina did not qualify to play the games, finishing 3rd. after Paraguay and Colombia.[6]

Since the 1996 Games, the IOC allowed squads to include a maximum of three over-23 players in their rosters.

Return to the podiumEdit

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.[7] 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.[8] In the next edition of the Games, 2000, Argentina did not participate.

First goldEdit

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.[9][10]

Second goldEdit

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.


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.[11] After the resignation of Gerardo Martino as coach, Julio Olarticoechea (who was the Argentina U-20 coach) was appointed to take over the team.[12]

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.[13] Some of Argentina's players were Ángel Correa, Jonathan Calleri and Cristian Pavón.

Tournament recordEdit

Summer OlympicsEdit

Olympics Record
Year Host Round Pos. GP W D L GS GA
1992   Barcelona Did not qualify
1996   Atlanta Silver medalists   6 3 2 1 13 6
2000   Sydney Did not qualify
2004   Athens Gold medalists   6 6 0 0 17 0
2008   Beijing Gold medalists   6 6 0 0 11 2
2012   London Did not qualify
2016   Rio de Janeiro Group stage 11 3 1 1 1 3 4
2020   Tokyo To be determined
Total 4/7 21 16 3 2 44 12

South American Pre-OlympicEdit

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


Current squadEdit

The following 18 players were selected to participate at the 2016 Summer Olympics.[14][15]

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Gerónimo Rulli (1992-05-20) 20 May 1992 (age 27) 6 0   Real Sociedad
12 1GK Axel Werner (1996-02-28) 28 February 1996 (age 23) 0 0   Málaga

2 2DF Lautaro Gianetti (1993-11-13) 13 November 1993 (age 25) 5 0   Vélez Sarsfield
3 2DF Alexis Soto (1993-10-20) 20 October 1993 (age 25) 4 0   Racing
4 2DF José Luis Gómez (1993-09-10) 10 September 1993 (age 26) 6 0   Lanús
6 2DF Víctor Cuesta (1988-11-19) 19 November 1988 (age 30) 6 0   Internacional
15 2DF Lisandro Magallán (1993-09-27) 27 September 1993 (age 25) 3 0   Ajax
16 2DF Leandro Vega (1996-05-27) 27 May 1996 (age 23) 2 0   Emelec

5 3MF Lucas Romero (1994-04-18) 18 April 1994 (age 25) 3 0   Cruzeiro
8 3MF Santiago Ascacibar (1997-02-25) 25 February 1997 (age 22) 5 0   VfB Stuttgart
13 4FW Joaquin Arzura (1993-05-18) 18 May 1993 (age 26) 2 0   Nacional
14 3MF Giovani Lo Celso (1996-04-09) 9 April 1996 (age 23) 6 0   Betis
17 3MF Mauricio Martínez (1993-02-20) 20 February 1993 (age 26) 5 2   Racing

7 3MF Cristian Pavón (1996-01-21) 21 January 1996 (age 23) 3 0   Boca Juniors
9 4FW Jonathan Calleri (1993-09-23) 23 September 1993 (age 25) 6 1   Alavés
10 4FW Ángel Correa (1995-03-09) 9 March 1995 (age 24) 6 2   Atlético Madrid
11 4FW Giovanni Simeone (1995-07-05) 5 July 1995 (age 24) 6 1   Fiorentina
18 4FW Cristian Espinoza (1995-04-03) 3 April 1995 (age 24) 6 0   San Jose Earthquakes

Notable playersEdit

Former squadsEdit


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Games of the IX Olympiad at RSSSF
  2. ^ Games of the XVII Olympiad
  3. ^ Games of the XVIII Olympiad
  4. ^ Games of the XXIV Olympiad
  6. ^ Games of the XXV. Olympiad - Football Qualifying Tournament by Russell Gerrard, Andre Zlotkowski and Lars Aarhus on RSSSF
  7. ^ "1996: Nigeria tocó el cielo olímpico" at Univisión
  8. ^ Games of the XXVI Olympiad
  9. ^ "Argentina era campeón olímpico de la mano de Bielsa en Atenas 2004", PlayFutbol, 27 December 2012
  10. ^ Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
  11. ^ La selección olímpica, abandonada: faltan jugadores y ni siquiera hay plata para "pagar el almuerzo", La Nación, 30 Jun 2016
  12. ^ Olarticoechea, el técnico de la Sub 20, fue designado para dirigir en los Juegos Olímpicos, La Capital, 6 Jul 2016
  13. ^ "La Selección no pudo con Honduras y quedó afuera en primera ronda", Clarín, 10 Aug 2016
  14. ^ "La AFA confirmó la lista de 18 jugadores que irán a Río" [AFA confirms the list of 18 players that will go to Rio]. Clarin (in Spanish). Retrieved 5 July 2006.
  15. ^ ""Estoy Orgulloso"" ["I'm proud"] (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 July 2006.

External linksEdit