Last World Cup with 16 teams. finally the fifa he deigned to grant the organization to a country that had been demanding it for several decades before and that gave so much to football.

But Argentina was historically against Fifa and the World Cups. When he enjoyed his golden generation, in the ’40s, the 1942 and 1946 cups were annulled due to the war. He was a source of talent and had had very high chances of triumph. There was always a but… Until in 1978 he embraced that glory that was so elusive. It was not easy for him.
(Lionel Messi, excited about his Inter Miami debut: ‘I knew I had to score’)
(Lionel Messi made his debut at Inter Miami with a tremendous goal)

terrifying group

Like all hosts, a simpler draw was expected, however, a local should never overcome pitfalls. He fell into a terrible group: a powerful Italy, who beat him and would win the next World Cup; IFrance of Platini, Lacombe, Rocheteau, Bossis, Battiston, Six, Tressor… and the last strong Hungary after the Magical Magyars. And from now on, perhaps to deal with the Poland that dazzled in Germany, that of Lato, Szarmach, Deyna, Zmuda, Tomaszewski. And before a Brazil with Zico, Dirceu, Batista and other guitarists.

Víctor Dell’Aquila arrives where Alberto Tarantini and Ubaldo Fillol embrace, in the Argentina-78 final.


Ricardo Alfieri – The Graphic

Then face a Peru full of figures like Cubillas, Cueto, Velásquez, Oblitas, Muñante… Although he was caught tired and already eliminated. And in the final, a tremendous amount of game and character from the Netherlands, who had scratched the title four years earlier without being less than Germany.

In 1974, the Clockwork Orange of rinus michels had given two memorable beatings to Argentina in the space of thirty days: 4-1 in Amsterdam (friendly) and 4-0 in Gelsenkirchen (already in the World Cup).

Now he presented eight of those who had danced a la Albiceleste: Jongbloed, Krol, Jansen, Suurbier, Neeskens, Haan, Rep and Rensenbrink. A ninth -Rijsbergen- stayed on the bench. With the addition of René and Willy Van der Kerkhof, the best twins football has ever seen. Michels was no longer as DT but Ernst Happel, the award-winning Austrian strategist. Cruyff was not due to a marital obstacle. It was said that he did not agree with the military regime (Cruyff did not give a damn about politics), and he himself declared in his autobiographical book that the truth of his absence was due to the fact that they had suffered a violent assault in Barcelona shortly before the World Cup and that left him so traumatized that he did not want to leave his family alone.


A colleague of his, in private, gave another version: “Danny, his wife, put him against the wall, told him: ‘The World Cup or me’. Happel did everything possible to get him to join, he even rented him a mansion next to our concentration in Córdoba so that he could take Danny, but Johan did not stay.

Everything was due to a play prior to the 1974 final in Germany that became public. Johan swore and swore that he had not had that and Danny forgave him, but on the condition that there would be no second time.

Had he attended the Cup, El Tulipán de Oro would have arrived at 31 years of age and it would have been more difficult for Argentina to win the title. It was a lot of crack.
Having an exceptional team, Germany in 1974 focused their entire strategy on nullifying Cruyff because they knew that, otherwise, there was little chance.

As if to compensate, Menotti also gave the Netherlands a hand. He excluded from the National Team who at that time were, by far, the two best Argentine soccer players: Bochini and Maradona.

Forty-five years later it still looks incredible. He released because she finally managed to crown. Both had given him the brilliance and footballing creativity that he lacked.
He summoned Alonso, Villa and Valencia, three 10s, but none responded adequately and Kempes ended up flying, an attacking and powerful player, not without technique with the ball. Nevertheless, Kempes was the hero of that conquest.

Even without his extraordinary guidance, Holland practiced a polished and offensive style, he was fully assembled and had internalized the idea that Michels had left. He came from being world runner-up in 1974 and third in the eurocup of 1976. It was expected that, between his virtues and the game that Menotti advocated – a kind of Guardiola before Guardiola – there would be a football festival.

Cesar Luis Menotti, former coach of the Argentine National Team.

Instead it was a gritty battle. As the world’s top hotbed, Argentina wanted to be, finally, champion. And Holland, with such an endowment that had appeared at the beginning of the decade, took second place as a disgrace. And there was a harsh crash, where the strong leg prevailed. It was all poking and guapear. They made out The two hit each other at will under the complacent gaze of the Italian referee Sergio Gonella, who did not expel anyone, only got 5 yellow cards, three for the Netherlands. In the firewood category, those in orange prevailed, Argentina brought out a light in the game.

Neither of them speculated, not even because it was a final. They traded attack for attack. Argentina took advantage in that sense because of its fabulous goalkeeper Ubaldo Fillol.
There will also be more goal situations, especially by Kempes and Bertoni, this one wreaking havoc on the right wing and Kempes through the center.

the matador

The Argentine fan gave his team a shocking reception, which the international public had never seen or seen again at the World Cups.

It is a unique piece. Thousands of flags and millions of pieces of paper apart from a thunderous ovation gave him an unprecedented welcome.

And at every moment the deafening “Come on, come on, Argentinaaaaa, come on, come on, let’s win…”. But the Dutch you will not get at all. They fought like lions.

At minute 38, Oswaldo Ardiles entered between three rivals by the 10 lane, Luque gave a short pass to the middle for Kempes and the Matador, with the strength that characterized him, throwing himself to the ground anticipating the crossing and the exit of the defender and goalkeeper to open the scoring.

The River Monumental stadium seemed to be collapsing with emotion. The Dutch continued to fight. So much so that, when halftime came, Argentina breathed, the Netherlands were pushing it to the maximum.

As in Munich four years earlier, Rep and Rensenbrink did not unbalance, instead they excelled enormously arie haan as midfielder and ruud krol as a libero and in charge of the exit from the bottom.

There were only 9 minutes left before the curtain, Argentina finally had the title at hand, but a cross from the right and a spectacular header from Nanninga gave the Netherlands a tie: 1-1. The River court was frozen. And there would be more…

At minute 45 and 12 seconds, a very long pitch surprised Olguín, the Argentine right-back, Rensenbrink appeared behind him, put his left foot in and the shot hit the post. If that ball had entered, there would be two Maracanazos, the one in 1950 and the one in 1978. A wave of panic invaded 30 million Argentines.

The Argentine forward Mario Kempes was the great figure of the 1978 World Cup, which was held in his country and in which he was crowned champion.


They went to extra time and Argentina did prevail there. At the end of the first supplement, in another homeland so typical of his, Kempes against the entire defense of the Netherlands scored 2-1. AND daniel bertoni gave the final thrust: 3-1.

There the local will reinforce several actions to increase. Holland never gave up, but he had run out of battery.

In relation to the 1970 final between Brazil and Italy, this was the opposite. It turned out to be a match of exceptional intensity and emotion, played at speed, with a lot of brand pressure on both sides and, above all, they left their lives on every ball.

Argentina won by desire, by courage, without frills. They were always once warriors in the field. In previous games, the same. Holland lost having a litter that is very difficult to repeat and could not achieve the most desired title without having been
inferior to those who achieved the crown. It was a fantastic final, which looks half a century later and passionate.

(Video: Tadej Pogacar and the gesture that the world of sport applauds in the Tour de France)

Jorge Barraza