In a tournament that knows no limits and is open to countless nations, Argentina has managed to sneak in and have a guaranteed place in its long history. Since its inauguration, 43 Argentinian representatives have played it, and about 21 turned out to be champions. In the current edition: 25 players and two coaches divided into 16 teams
The UEFA Champions League It is one of the most important club level competitions in the world. His greatness is recognized by all football fans. Its long history, its excellent organization, the clubs and players that play it, or the spectacle it presents year after year are some of the reasons that place it at the top.
However, there is another fundamental factor that can go unnoticed. And it is the fact that it brings together dozens and dozens of nations not only located in Europe, a continent where it is carried out exclusively, if not the rest of the world. This keeps the spirit of “The orejona”, managing to move to very remote territories and passing from generation to generation.
Argentina It is one of the countries that occupies that long list. His presence in the “European Cup” (as it was called until 1992) started a long time ago, and continues to this day. In that period a total of 43 athletes, between footballers and coaches, reached the final of the tournament and about 21 They were able to raise the trophy together with performances of the highest level. Among the most prominent of this select group we can mention Alfredo Di Stéfano, Helenio Herrera, Juan Pablo Sorín, Fernando Redondo, Santiago Solari, Lionel Messi, Carlos Tévez, Javier Zanetti and Ángel Di María, among many others.
If we don’t focus on the current 2020/21 season, from the start of the competition in the group stage, there were 25 players and two Argentine coaches, who were distributed among 16 teams. Seville, Atalanta and Paris Saint-Germain they were the teams with the largest number of representatives: three albicelestes in each. In a measure of footballers by countries, Italy is the one that leads the ranking with 7 players, followed by Spain with 6.
The 25 players were reduced to 18 now in round of 16, once the first phase concluded. Of the 16 teams that remain alive, 10 have footballers from our territory. At the moment, the most “Argentinized” (Sevilla, Atalanta and PSG) survived, but the ranking has changed. The arrival of Alejandro “Papu” Gómez Spanish football places the Sevilla, with 4 footballers, at the top. They are followed by the Parisian team and the Lazio with three, who in the recent winter market added the defender to their ranks Mateo Musacchio and the midfielder Gonzalo escalante.
The complete list is made up of: Marcos Acuña, Alejandro Gómez, Lucas Ocampos and Franco Vázquez (Sevilla); Ángel Di María, Mauro Icardi and Leandro Paredes (PSG); Joaquín Correa, Gonzalo Escalante and Mateo Musacchio (Lazio); José Luis Palomino and Cristian Romero (Atalanta); Sergio Aguero (Manchester City); Willy Caballero (Chelsea); Paulo Dybala (Juventus); Agustín Marchesín (Porto); Y Lionel Messi (Barcelona).
Now Italy and Spain they are in equality as far as countries are concerned with 6 players each. France has 3, all on the team led by Mauricio Pochettino, England 2 and Portugal only one. But strictly in the region of South America, Argentina is not the country with the greatest presence in the Champions League because the incredible number of 35 representatives it has Brazil relegates him by far to second place. In this table of countries, the third place is occupied by Uruguay thanks to its 6 footballers, just one more than Colombia (5), while Ecuador and Paraguay they have a single player on their behalf.
Compared to the last five seasons, the number of 18 players on 10 teams falls far short. Analyzing each team that played the tournament from the round of 16 from the 2015/16 campaign, we will find numbers that are close to doubling the current record. The past 2019/20 season that had as a brand new champion Bayern Munich concluded in the same result (18 players on 10 teams), but if we go a little further back the situation begins to change.
26 Argentine footballers divided into 11 teams during 2018/19 and a similar number in the 2016/17 (26 players on 10 teams). But the highest record was achieved in the season 2017/18, where he Real Madrid raised his last “Orejona”, and a total of 28 Argentinian representatives in 11 different teams They stepped on European soil to defend their respective colors. Finally, in the already distant campaign 2015/16, it was registered to 24 players on just 9 teams, the lowest number of clubs.
Among other interesting data, the curious and lasting drought of Argentine players who are crowned champions of this imposing tournament predominates. Precisely since May 6, 2015, the day they met Juventus and Barcelona in Berlin, and that at the end of the match Lionel Messi Y Javier Mascherano screamed champions. In the other side Carlos Tevez, holder and author of an assistance, together with Roberto Pereyra they fell defeated. The “Tucu” He also enjoyed a few minutes that night when he entered to replace Arturo vidal.
Messi is the player in which the most editions have competed, including the current one (16). Sergio “Kun” Agüero did the same eleven times and Angel Di Maria in ten. The most winners were Di Stéfano and Rial, both members of the mythical Real Madrid who got five cups in a row. Then follow it “the flea”, which so far accumulates four with the “Culés”. Speaking of major words, Fernando Redondo he is the only one to win the title with two different clubs (Real Madrid and Milan) and has three victories in total.
Photo: Ivo Vidal – AG Sports
Twitter: Ivo Vidal