The number 10 shirt holds immense significance in world football, especially for the Argentina national team. From the legendary Maradona to the iconic Messi, Argentina has produced some of the greatest talents to don the number 10 jersey. Let’s delve into this article to explore Argentina’s greatest number 10s together!
Diego Maradona, a football genius, took the sports world by storm in the 1980s. Renowned for his exceptional goalscoring ability, mesmerizing dribbles, and precise passing, Maradona’s brilliance shone brightest during the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. In that tournament, he scored 10 out of 14 goals for his team, including the infamous ‘Hand of God’ and the spectacular ‘Goal of the Century’ just four minutes later. These goals helped Argentina defeat England and progress to the final.
Maradona’s club career peaked at Napoli, where he won two Italian Championships, one UEFA Cup, and one Italian Super Cup. He nearly led Argentina to a second consecutive World Cup victory in 1990.
Lionel Messi, a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, has represented the Albiceleste in 171 games and holds the record for scoring 96 goals for the national team. Messi’s international career has witnessed highs and lows, including leading Argentina to the 2014 World Cup final and being a Copa América runner-up on three occasions: 2007, 2015, and 2016. After the heartbreak of losing the 2016 Copa América, Messi briefly retired from international football but returned to participate in the 2018 World Cup.
However, Messi’s patience and perseverance paid off. In 2021, he led Argentina to their first Copa América title and is set to feature in another World Cup final in Qatar. Messi has undoubtedly fulfilled the role of the number 10 shirt with unparalleled excellence and is the present-day icon of the position.
Omar Sivori possessed creative tricks and instincts that rivaled the likes of Maradona and Messi. The winner of the 1961 Ballon d’Or, Sivori dazzled opponents with his mesmerizing ball control and often left them bewildered. After leading Argentina to victory in the 1957 South American Championship, Sivori made football history with his move from River Plate to Italian giants Juventus for a then-record transfer fee of £91,000. At Juventus, he formed a formidable attacking partnership, known as the Trio Magico, with Giampiero Boniperti and John Charles, winning three Serie A titles. Sivori, often dubbed the “Maradona of the 60s,” passed away in 2005.
Juan Roman Riquelme
Juan Roman Riquelme, a legend of Boca Juniors, was admired for his extraordinary vision, exceptional passing ability, and remarkable creativity in holding the ball. Riquelme played a crucial role in Boca Juniors’ success, helping the team clinch three Copa Libertadores titles and five Argentine championships. He also contributed to Argentina’s triumph in the 2008 Olympic Games and was a Copa América runner-up in 2007. Interestingly, Riquelme shares the same birthday as Messi, further solidifying their connection as two of Argentina’s most prominent number 10s.
Ariel Ortega represented Argentina in two World Cup campaigns, earning 87 caps and securing a silver medal in 1996. Known for his superb dribbling skills and pure technique on the pitch, Ortega was often hailed as the next Maradona. However, his career was marked by fragility. He is particularly remembered for his infamous header against Dutch goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar in the 1998 World Cup quarter-final, which came after a contentious disagreement between the two.
This article celebrates the all-time greatest number 10s in Argentina’s football history. We hope you found it informative and enjoyable. For more exciting content, visit Zenith City News.