While Europe has been the beautiful game's tactical hotbed over the past century, South America often manages to steal the show with its eclectic blend of wizardry and charisma. With two World Cup triumphs and a staggering host of historic and legendary moments, Argentina has managed to create a unique footballing legacy over the years and has produced the greatest players in the history of the game.
The fact that Argentina has miserably failed to meet expectations since the turn of the century does not compromise its position as a traditional powerhouse of world football. The likes of Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, and Alfredo Di Stefano have fulfilled some of the most prominent roles in shaping modern football and have managed to give Argentina a shroud of immortality.
Argentina has given the football world some of its greatest magicians
While the exploits of Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona have been well-documented and thoroughly exalted, there are a few other legendary names that have managed to slip under the radar over the years. Argentina treats football as a way of life and its sporting heroes are often treated like deities in the country.
Argentina's football is often characterised by its reliance on some of the most lethal attacking players the game has ever produced. The nation's teams have become heavily lop-sided as a result and while Argentina has often succumbed to extraordinary expectations, its players have stood out as some of the greatest the game has ever seen.
#10 Javier Mascherano
Javier Mascherano is a unique character in a football world that heavily relies on skill and flashy magic tricks. The Argentine destroyer earned the nickname 'El Jefecito' for a very specific reason. Mascherano's ability to marshall and inspire his troops on the pitch was one of his greatest contributions to both his country and the host of illustrious clubs he played for.
After a European debut with West Ham that was riddled with controversy, Javier Mascherano quickly made his presence felt and earned a transfer to a new-look Liverpool side under Rafael Benitez. The eccentric Spaniard turned Mascherano into a formidable force in the Reds midfield and Barcelona quickly took note of the Argentine's unique qualities.
Javier Mascherano transitioned into the role of a centre-back at Barcelona and after a few initial teething problems, the Argentine veteran became one of the leaders in the side. Mascherano was also one of the first names on the teamsheet for his national side for well over a decade and offered Argentina a unique and much-needed repertoire of skills.
#9 Ubaldo Fillol
Goalkeepers rarely get their due in the world of football and Ubaldo Fillol is one such name that often misses out on the accolades he so thoroughly deserves. Arguably the greatest shot-stopper in Argentina history, Ubaldo Fillol played a pivotal role in his country's first World Cup triumph.
Ubaldo Fillol is a River Plate legend and is one of the most iconic players in Argentina's domestic football leagues to this day. The goalkeeper won 7 league titles in Argentina and was voted his country's player of the year in 1977.
Ubaldo Fillol's legendary status in Argentina is cemented by the fact that the most coveted individual prize for shot-stoppers in the country carries his name. Argentina has not had the best of goalkeepers in the recent past and desperately needs an individual to step up to Ubaldo Fillol's lofty standards.
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