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Argentina’s World Cup moments: Maradona’s solo strike axed

| 04.06.2014

Of the 19 World Cups that have gone before us, there have only been four where Argentina have not been present. Only one of those absences were brought about by a failure to qualify, with the other three being the country’s choice.

It’s naturally quite difficult, then, to whittle the great World Cup moments of the 4/1 Brazil hopefuls down into a manageable chunk. We’ve had a crack at it nonetheless and present the following for perusal:

Batistuta’s hat-trick love

In the list of great World Cup goal scorers, Gabriel Batistuta officially sits equal eighth with 10 goals. However, his achievements on the greatest stage should earn him an elevation into the top three.

Six of his ten goals came via devastating hat tricks, in the 1994 and 1998 tournaments, making him one of 48 players to register a World Cup triple and one of just four to do it twice.

However, he is the only player to have ever taken home the match ball in two separate tournaments and it’ll be some time before he’s passed as his nation’s most prolific World Cup front man.

A tantalising tandem

Diego Maradona and Claudio Caniggia were never fortunate enough to spend too much time on the same pitch together but for one, almost perfect tournament they combined superbly to finish runners up of Italia ’90.

Their partnership was best displayed in knocking Brazil out in the round of 16 as the iconic number 10 embarked on a mazy run he’d made famous four years earlier, only to feed Caniggia who showcased his consummate composure to net the game’s only goal.

The ultimate team goal

Argentina have their fair share of great World Cup goals but none can compare, in terms of team-play, to Esteban Cambiasso’s strike against Serbia in 2006.

26-passes are played before the midfielder slots the ball in the net, to cap a move far more pleasing to watch than to describe.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.