Argentina is one of the heavyweights of World football. They have won the FIFA World Cup 2 times out of 16 appearances. Argentina has also finished as runners-up in the World Cup 3 times, the last being in 2014, against Germany. Currently, Argentina is ranked 4th according to FIFA’s rankings. Although Argentina has such rich football history, they barely made it to the World Cup (Russia) after the CONMEBOL.
Fact: Gabriel Batistuta is the top goal-scorer for Argentina in the World Cup with 10 goals to his name. Maradona comes in second with 8 goals to his name. Messi and Higuain have 5 goals apiece in the World Cup.
Argentina has been drawn in Group D for the World Cup group stage along with the likes of Nigeria, Croatia and Iceland. The group has two very strong teams in Croatia and Nigeria to contend for the second qualification position. Argentina will be favorites to top the group and qualify for the round of 16. Iceland has had a really good qualification campaign for Russia. They will cause a huge upset should the qualify for the next round. Moreover, these conditions (in Russia) favor Iceland and Croatia.
- Argentina – 1st
- Croatia – 2nd
- Nigeria – 3rd
- Iceland – 4th
The bookies and pundits alike predict that these standing are the most likely outcome at the end of the group phase.
The most important game of this group is among both the favorites, Argentina versus Croatia. The last time these sides played, Argentina won 1-0 in 1998. Barcelona teammates Messi and Rakitic will play opposite each other.
The runner-up of this group could potentially play France if France does top their group, which is expected. So there is a lot to play for in the group and plenty of incentive to finish first.