The Argentina national football team has won the FIFA World Cup three times – 1978, 1986 and 2022. Their latest title win came in FIFA World Cup 2022 on Sunday, December 18, 2022, when they defeated defending champions France in a penalty shoot-out.
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Having made their FIFA World Cup debut in the tournament’s inaugural edition in 1930, the Daniel Passarella-led Argentina won their maiden title by defeating the Netherlands 3-1 in 1978 final. Eight years later, the Diego Maradona-led La Albiceleste had pipped West Germany 3-2 in 1986 final to claim their second FIFA World Cup title.
|World Cup year||Result|
|FIFA World Cup 1978||Argentina beat Netherlands 3-1 to win World Cup|
|FIFA World Cup 1986||Argentina beat West Germany 3-2 to lift the title|
|FIFA World Cup 2022||Argentina beat France 4-2 on penalties after the match ended 3-3|
Now that we know how many Argentina won the FIFA World Cup, let’s find out how the Albiceleste have fared across the editions.
Argentina FIFA World Cup record
Withdrew due to hosting disagreement
|1954||Withdrew due to political tension|
|1970||Did not qualify|
|1974||Second group stage|
|1982||Second group stage|
|1994||Round of 16|
|2018||Round of 16|
1930 | Runners-up
Argentina were one of the 13 teams to participate in the first edition of the FIFA World Cup held in Uruguay from 13-30 July, 1930. Out of the 13 teams, seven were from South America, four from Europe and two from North America.
As per the schedule, the 13 teams were divided into four groups, with the winner of each group advancing to the semi-finals. Argentina, hosts Uruguay, the United States and Yugoslavia topped the respective groups to advance to the last four.
In the semi-finals, Uruguay thrashed Yugoslavia 6-1 while Argentina hammered the United States by the same scoreline to set-up a mouth-watering FIFA World Cup final.
Meanwhile, Uruguay defeated Argentina 4-2 in the 1930 FIFA World Cup final to become the first nation to win the coveted title.
1934 | First Round
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was held in Italy from May 27 to June 10. As many as 16 teams qualified for the second edition of the marquee football tournament.
Interestingly, defending champions Uruguay boycotted the World Cup as only four European teams accepted their invitation to the previous edition of the tournament.
Last edition’s finalist Argentina were knocked out by Sweden 3-2 in the Round of 16.
Hosts Italy edged Czechoslovakia 2-1 in the extra-time of the 1934 FIFA World Cup final to clinch the title and become the first team from Europe to claim the coveted title.
1938, 1950 | Withdrew due to hosting disagreement
Argentina decided against participating in the 1938 FIFA World Cup after France was selected as the host nation by FIFA in Berlin in 1936. Football’s world governing body, FIFA, decided to host a second consecutive FIFA World Cup in Europe (after Italy in 1934), which caused a massive resentment in South America as they believed that the hosting rights should alternate between the two continents. Along with Argentina, Uruguay did not participate in the tournament due to the same reason. Additionally, Spain could not participate due to the ongoing Spanish Civil War.
Ahead of the 1950 FIFA World Cup which was hosted by Brazil, Argentina withdrew after the qualifying draw due to their fall-out with the Brazilian Football Confederation. Meanwhile, Uruguay beat hosts Brazil 2-1 in the 1950 FIFA World Cup final to clinch their second title.
1954 | Withdrew due to political tension
For the third consecutive FIFA World Cup, Argentina turned down the option to participate in the marquee tournament, this time due to rising political tension.
West Germany pipped Hungary 3-2 in the 1954 FIFA World Cup final in Switzerland to bag their maiden title.
1958, 1962 | Group Stage
Argentina appeared in a FIFA World Cup for the first time since the 1934 edition. Hosted by Sweden, Argentina were placed in Group 1 alongside West Germany, Northern Ireland and Czechoslovakia.
Argentina had a dismal campaign as they were eliminated from the group stage. With one win and two losses, La Albiceleste finished at the bottom of the standings with just two points from three matches.
Arch-rivals Brazil beat hosts Sweden 5-2 in the 1958 FIFA World Cup final to clinch their maiden title.
For the second consecutive World Cup, Argentina were knocked out in the group stage during the 1962 edition held in Chile.
Brazil claimed back-to-back FIFA World Cup titles by defeating Czechoslovakia 3-1 in the 1962 final.
1966 | Quarter-finals
The eighth edition of the FIFA World Cup was held in England from July 11-30. 16 teams from four confederations qualified for the 1966 FIFA World Cup.
Placed in Group 2 with West Germany, Spain and Switzerland, Argentina advanced to the knockout after finishing second in the group. Argentina secured two wins and one draw, accumulating five points from three matches.
However, Argentina suffered a disappointing 0-1 loss to hosts England at Wembley in the quarter-finals to be knocked out of the tournament.
Interestingly, England went on to claim their FIFA World Cup title as they beat West Germany 4-2 in the final.
1970 | Did not qualify
Argentina failed to qualify for the 1970 FIFA World Cup for the first time in their history which was held in Mexico.
La Albiceleste had earlier declined to participate in the 1938, 1950 and 1954 editions of the FIFA World Cup.
Brazil thrashed Italy 4-1 in the 1970 FIFA World Cup final to claim their third title – the most by any nation in the tournament’s history.
1974 | Second group stage
The 1974 FIFA World Cup was held in West Germany between June 13 and July 7.
Meanwhile, Argentina qualified for the 1974 FIFA World Cup after missing the previous edition.
Argentina were placed in Group 4 alongside Poland, Italy and Haiti. With one win, one draw and one loss, Argentina advanced to the second round after finishing second in the group stage.
In the second group stage, Argentina were placed alongside Netherlands, Brazil and East Germany. La Albiceleste looked completely out of sorts as they managed one draw while losing their other two matches. With one point from three matches, Argentina finished their campaign at the bottom of the Group A standings as they were eliminated in the second group stage.
Hosts West Germany pipped the Netherlands 2-1 in the final to bag their second title.
1978 | Argentina became FIFA World Cup Champions
For the first time, Argentina hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1978 between June 1-25. 16 teams from five confederations participated in the tournament.
Hosts Argentina were placed in Group 1 in the first round alongside Italy, France and Hungary. Under the leadership of captain Daniel Passarella, Argentina managed to beat Hungary (2-1) and France (2-1) while succumbing to a 0-1 defeat to Italy. With four points from three games, Argentina finished second in Group 1 standings to advance to the next round.
In the second group stage, Argentina were put in Group B with arch-rivals Brazil, Poland and Peru. La Albiceleste remained unbeaten in the second round as they defeated Poland (2-0) and hammered Peru (6-0) while playing a goalless draw against Brazil.
Argentina stormed into the final after finishing at top of the Group B standings with five points from three matches.
In the 1978 FIFA World Cup final, hosts Argentina rode on a brace from Mario Kempes and another goal from Daniel Bertoni to beat the Netherlands 3-1 to claim their maiden title. Dick Nanninga earlier equalised for the Netherlands to take the final to extra-time.
1982 | Second group stage
Hosted by Spain, defending champions Argentina were knocked out in the second round of the 1982 FIFA World Cup.
Earlier, Argentina were placed in Group 3 in the first round alongside Belgium, Hungary and Salvadador. With two victories and one defeat, Argentina finished second in the group as they advanced to the next round.
In the second group stage, Argentina lost both their matches against Italy and Brazil to be eliminated from the tournament.
Italy beat West Germany 3-1 in the 1982 final at the Santiago Bernabeu to claim their third FIFA World Cup.
1986 | Argentina win their second and last FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup was played in Mexico from May 31 to June 29, 1986. As many as 24 teams took part in the marquee FIFA tournament.
Under talismanic captain Diego Armando Maradona, Argentina were placed in Group A alongside Italy, Bulgaria and South Korea.
Argentina started their campaign with a 3-1 win over South Korea before playing a 1-1 draw against Italy. Maradona’s men later beat Bulgaria 2-0 to finish at the top of the Group A standings with five points from three games and advance to the knockout stage.
In the knockouts, Argentina continued their impressive form as they pipped Uruguay 1-0 in the Round of 16, beat England 2-1 in the quarter-finals before defeating Belgium 2-0 in the semi-finals to storm into the summit clash.
Argentina beat West Germany 3-2 in a high-scoring final to claim their second FIFA World Cup.
1990 | Runners-up
Italy hosted the 1990 FIFA World Cup for a second time in their history and became the second country after Mexico to do so. 24 teams from five confederations qualified for the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
Reigning champions Argentina were placed in Group B along with Cameroon, Romania and the Soviet Union. Argentia survived a massive scare as they qualified for the knockout as one of the best third-placed teams.
Argentina suffered a 0-1 defeat to Cameroon in their opening match before bouncing back to beat the Soviet Union 2-0. They were later held by Romania 1-1 in their final group match to finish with three points from as many games.
La Albiceleste continued their scintillating run as they beat rivals Brazil 1-0 in the Round of 16, defeated Yugoslavia in the quarter-finals and later pipped hosts Italy on penalties in the semi-finals to advance to another FIFA World Cup final.
Meanwhile, West Germany ended Argentina’s dream of winning consecutive World Cups as they secured a 1-0 win to claim their third title.
1994 | Round of 16
Argentina failed to continue their impressive run in the FIFA World Cups as they were eliminated in the Round of 16 in the 1994 edition in the United States.
Placed in Group D, Argentina were placed alongside Nigeria, Bulgaria and Greece. With six points from three matches, Argentina finished third in the group as they advanced to the next round as one of the best third-placed teams.
In the Round of 16, Romania beat Argentina 3-2 to eliminate the pre-tournament favourites.
Brazil beat Italy on penalties in the 1994 FIFA World Cup final to bag their fourth title.
1998 | Quarter-finals
The 1998 FIFA World Cup was held in France from June 10 to July 12. For the first time, 32 teams participated in a FIFA World Cup. All the teams were divided into eight groups of four.
Argentina were placed in Group H alongside Croatia, Jamaica and Japan. Having won all their three group matches, Argentina qualified for the Round of 16 as table-toppers with nine points from three games.
In the Round of 16, Argentina pipped England on penalties before suffering a 1-2 defeat against the Netherlands in the quarter-finals.
Hosts France defeated a star-studded Brazil outfit 3-0 in the final to clinch their maiden FIFA World Cup title.
2002 | Group Stage
The 17th edition of the FIFA World Cup was held in South Korea and Japan in 2002. Just like the previous edition, 32 teams participated in the tournament.
Argentina were placed in Group F alongside Sweden, England and Nigeria. Argentina had a dismal campaign as they managed one win, one draw and one loss in the three group matches. With four points from three matches, Argentina finished third in the group stage as they were eliminated in the group stage.
Brazil clinched their FIFA World Cup as they beat Germany 2-0 in the final.
2006, 2010 | Quarter-finals
Argentina were knocked out in the quarter-final stage in back-to-back FIFA World Cups in 2006 and 2010.
Hosts Germany eliminated Argentina on penalties in the quarter-finals to advance to the semi-finals.
Earlier, Argentina pipped Mexico 2-1 in the extra-time in their Round of 16 to set-up their encounter against Germany.
La Albiceleste had earlier topped Group C with seven points from three matches to qualify for the Round of 16.
Italy defeated France on penalties in the final to clinch their fourth FIFA World Cup title.
On the other hand, Germany thrashed Argentina 4-0 in the 2010 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals to knock them out of the tournament.
Argentina had finished at the top of the Group B standings with three consecutive wins before beating Mexico 3-1 in the Round of 16.
Spain claimed their maiden FIFA World Cup as they pipped Netherlands in extra-time of the 2010 final.
2014 | Runners-up
After being eliminated in the quarter-final stage of consecutive FIFA World Cups, Argentina bounced back in the 2014 edition of the tournament held in Brazil.
Led by captain Lionel Messi, Argentina reached the FIFA World Cup final before losing to eventual champions Germany.
Placed in Group F, Argentina started their campaign with a 2-1 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina before pipped Iran 1-0 and secured a 3-2 victory against Nigeria.
With nine points from three games, Argentina finished at the top of the Group F standings to qualify for the Round of 16.
Under the tutelage of manager Alejandro Sabella, Argentina beat Switzerland 1-0 in the Round of 16, edged Belgium 1-0 in the quarter-finals before defeating the Netherlands on penalties in the semi-finals.
However, Argentina suffered a heart-breaking 0-1 defeat to Germany in extra-time of the 2014 final.
2018 | Runners-up
The 2018 FIFA World Cup was held in Russia between June 14 and July 15, 2018. 3
Argentina were placed in Group of Death (Group D) alongside Croatia, Nigeria and Iceland.
The Lionel Messi-led Argentina were held to a 1-1 draw by Iceland in their opening match of the tournament before succumbing to a 0-3 defeat at the hands of Croatia.
In a do-to-die fixture, Argentina beat Nigeria 2-1 to finish second in Group D standings with four points from three games.
In the Round of 16, Argentina suffered a 3-4 defeat to be knocked out of the tournament.
France beat Croatia 4-2 in an enthralling FIFA World Cup final to clinch their second title.
The upcoming edition of the FIFA World Cup will be held in Qatar in 2022.
2022 | Champions
Lionel Messi finally got his hands on the FIFA World Cup, a title that had eluded him since he first appeared in 2006. The Argentine captain became the first player to score in the group stages, round of 16m, quarter-final, semi-final and the final to take his team to victory.
After starting their campaign with a defeat to Saudi Arabia, Argentina regained their composure to beat Poland and Mexico and finish atop the table.
In the knockout stages, Argentina defeated Australia (2-1), Netherlands (4-3 on penalties) and Croatia (3-0) to reach the final. The finale saw Lionel Messi score twice as Angel Di Maria scored once against Kylian Mbappe’s hattrick to take the match to penalties. Argentina prevailed 4-2 in the shooutout.
How many times Portugal won the FIFA World Cup?
Portugal have never won a FIFA World Cup yet. Portugal have reached the Round of 16 in the 2010 and 2018 editions – their best results so far.
How many times have Argentina played the FIFA World Cup final?
Argentina have played the FIFA World Cup final on five occasions. While Argentina won the FIFA World Cup in 1978 and 1986, they lost the finals in 1930, 1990 and 2014.
Who has won the FIFA World Cup the most?
Brazil have won the FIFA World Cup the most on five occasions in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002.