Friday, June 2, 2023

Maradona, Riquelme, Saviola and Messi: the history of the U-20

Diego Armando Maradona, Juan Roman Riquelme, Javier Saviola and Lionel Messi share much more than their talents as footballers: all four led their respective Argentina national teams to the Under-20 World Cup, the country in the category contributed to the dominance of

Since the tournament’s creation in 1977, Argentina has been crowned champion of the U-20 World Cup six times: Japan 1979, Qatar 1995, Malaysia 1997, Argentina 2001, Netherlands 2005 and Canada 2007, while Mexico finished runner-up in 1983. and the fourth in the United Arab Emirates in 2003.

These awards make Albiceleste the most successful team in the history of the competition, surpassing the five titles won by Brazil (1983, 1985, 1993, 2003 and 2011) and two Portuguese Cups (1989 and 1991).

During these last five decades, the U-20 national team has produced dozens of talents, in addition to those already mentioned, such as Pablo Aimar, Fernando Cavanaghy or Sergio ‘Kun’ Agüero, among many others.

First success with Maradona

After not participating in the first U-20 World Cup (Tunisia 1977), Argentina made its debut in this tournament in Japan in 1979: under the baton of César Luis Menotti, who won the first World Cup for the senior team a year earlier Was. This team won the maximum youth title by defeating Soviet Union 3–1.

One of the scorers in that match was Diego Armando Maradona, who was the second top scorer in that competition (6 goals, two less than his compatriot Ramon Díaz) and winner of the Ballon d’Or in the competition.

In fact, Maradona remains the all-time top scorer in the U-20s with 14 goals in 25 games, equaling Lionel Messi, who scored 14 goals in 18 games during his time in the category.

Peckerman era

After a long journey through the desert, which included failing to qualify for two World Cups (Soviet Union 1985 and Chile 1987) and being banned for two years after the events at the 1991 World Cup in Portugal , thanks to the arrival of José Pekerman, the Argentina under-20 team reconciled.

Entre Ríos’ coach marked an era in the under-20s: with three World Cups (1995, 1997 and 2001) and two South American (1997 and 1999), he is by far the most successful coach in youth history. ,

During his eight years as coach, Pekerman saw a passing of talent that became the norm for the senior team: the 1997 team, for example, was made up of players such as Lionel Scaloni, Walter Samuel and Pablo Aimar, who started Led the team from the bench. Previous World Cup 2022 winning team in Qatar.

Considered a football politician, Pekerman also contributed to the production of outstanding football players, as was the case with Juan Roman Riquelme, Esteban Cambiasso, Leonardo Ponzio or Javier Saviola; The latter is also the top scorer in the Albiceleste U-20 World Cup, with eleven goals in Argentina 2001.

Golden generation

Pekerman’s departure in 2002 did not diminish the good work the Argentina under-20 had done: the youth team won a further two World Cups in 2005 and 2007, thanks to an almost untraceable generation.

The team that won the title in the Netherlands in 2005 featured none other than Lionel Messi (the ‘pichichi’ of the tournament, with six goals, two of them in the final against Nigeria), Sergio Agüero, Pablo Zabaleta, Ezequiel Garay and others. and Lucas Biglia, a member of the team that, nine years later, would also reach the final of the (absolute) World Cup in Brazil 2014.

Two years later, Argentina won the 2007 Under-20 World Cup in Canada with Ángel Di María, Sergio Romero, Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gómez, Ever Banega and Kun scoring six goals in that tournament.

And although, since then, the Sub’20 has never progressed past the quarter-finals of the World Cup (in Colombia in 2011), it has gone on to train players consolidated today, including Nicolas Tagliafico, Erik Lamela (World Cup in 2011 includes both). ), Angel Correa (2015), Lisandro Martinez and Lautaro Martinez (2017).

Generational relay

Sixteen years after the last World Cup title, the current Under-20 team, led by Javier Mascherano, will have the opportunity to oust the youth team legend after failing to make it past the South American first round in the category. in front of his audience.

To achieve this, footballers such as Maximo Perron, Luca Romero or Valentin Barco will have to show that they are worthy representatives of a Shield that has more history than any other, at least in the Under-20 World Cup.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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