Despite being able to call upon the most destructive footballer on the face of the earth in Lionel Messi, the apathy around Argentina’s chances at the 2010 World Cup was palpable.
That’s far from the case for the 2014 edition as La Albiceleste are 6/1 co-third-favourites to lift the trophy with Spain and given the frightening form of their representatives across the globe their prominence in the betting is far from surprising.
The five forwards in the last Argentina squad have already scored 29 times between them this term in the league alone.
Lionel Messi’s large contribution is taken for granted, but Sergio Aguero and Rodrigo Palacio have weighed in with 15 league strikes between them.
Elsewhere Aguero’s former Etihad Stadium compadre Carlos Tevez didn’t even make the last squad, but having posted six goals in ten Serie A games for Juventus he’s yet another prolific striker that Alejandro Sabella could call upon if necessary.
Angel Di Maria has starred for Real Madrid in the Champions League with two goals and four assists.
Los Blancos’ Rosario-born winger is the joint-leading assister in the competition and he’s provided more La Liga key passes than all bar five of his rivals.
Further proof that there is a well spring of creativity bubbling out of the Pampas is evident in the fact that the Primera Liga’s next most prolific chance creator is fellow national squad member Ever Banega.
Among many shining defenders Nicolas Otamendi has squired the meanest defence in Portugal.
It’s far from just the attacking Argentinians who have been shining so far this term with Otamendi and Ezequiel Garay overseeing the tightest and second tightest defences in the Primeira Division this term for Porto and Benfica respectively.
Meanwhile in Italy Inter had conceded just two goals in the five games that veteran centre-half Hugo Campagnaro started before his injury.
In the Premier League Pablo Zabaleta averages more tackles per game than any defender bar Crystal Palace’s overworked Joel Ward despite playing for one of the division’s most dominant outfits.