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Argentina

Messi and Ronaldo: The view from home

Argentina vs. Portugal
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Tevez's return the talk of Argentina

Argentina
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Ten years of Lionel Messi

Barcelona
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Riquelme the last great leader of Argentine football

Juan Roman Riquelme announced his retirement after an illustrious career with Barcelona, Villarreal and Boca Juniors.

BUENOS AIRES -- Juan Roman Riquelme was mulling over the idea for years. Everyone remembers when, in 2012, with the strange backdrop of a Copa Libertadores final against Corinthians, he announced he was leaving Boca Juniors, that he was empty, that soccer had nothing left to offer him.

Then, faced with a concerted outcry, Riquelme returned to the fold. Full of sentimental phrases, he recovered from his fleeting apathy to renew his vows to his beloved team.

Now, it seems, he is leaving for good....

 By Tim Vickery

Juan Roman Riquelme: The master of his art will be missed by Argentina

The ESPN FC team reflect back on Juan Roman Riquelme's storied career and the crew is forced to pick which was the best professional footballer.

Towards the end of 2001, a tribute match for Argentine legend Diego Maradona was staged at Boca Juniors' famous stadium, La Bombonera, in Buenos Aires. The spectators included then-Argentina national team coach Marcelo Bielsa, who was roundly booed. However, the fans' ire had nothing to do with any falling out between Bielsa and Maradona, but rather the fact that the coach had no place in his team for Juan Roman Riquelme, the playmaker and idol of the Boca side of the time -- who announced his retirement...

 By Tim Vickery

Uruguay-Brazil headlines second round of South American U20 championship

Giovanni Simeone and Argentina have run rampant at the South American under-20 championship, but tougher competition awaits the Albiceleste in the second round.
Giovanni Simeone and Argentina have run rampant at the South American under-20 championship, but tougher competition awaits the Albiceleste in the second round.

With all due respect to Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and Chile, it is time for the main event of the competition. In the South American under-20 championship, the aforementioned four teams have been knocked out. Six are still standing, and over the next few days, they will play one another in the tournament's decisive second stage.

The stakes now rise. Four of the remaining six will make it through to this year's Under-20 World Cup. One will join host Brazil in next year's Olympics; another will...

 By Tim Vickery

South American U20 Championships defined by exhaustion, tough schedule

Peru and Paraguay may have played out a dubious draw but blame the schedule more than anything.

Worst fears were realised when Group A came to a close in the South American Under-20 Championships.

Argentina had already booked their place in the decisive second stage. Behind them were three teams, Paraguay, Ecuador and Peru, all level on points. Two would join Argentina. One would be eliminated.

Ecuador had completed all their matches and could only watch from the sidelines, hoping for a decisive result in the match between the other two. But a draw between Paraguay and Peru would qualify...

 By Tim Vickery

Argentina, Brazil show their flaws in South American U20 Championship

Angel Correa is Argentina's star, but their defending is a cause for concern.

The South American Under-20 Championship is mainly about individuals. After all, there's little point in a team winning continental and world titles at this level if none of its members go on to become important players for the senior national team. More than anything else, the focus in the tournament currently taking place in Uruguay is therefore on the best youngsters, the ones most likely to become household names all over the world.

But there is an interesting collective dimension too, especially...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Roy Hodgson overlooked Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi for Ballon d'Or

Javier Mascherano impressed for Argentina at the 2014 World Cup.

As we all know by now, Cristiano Ronaldo was voted the 2014 Ballon d'Or winner after another spectacular 12 months with Real Madrid.

He comfortably pipped Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer to the accolade, as the Portugal international earned 37.66 percent of the votes.

The victor is decided by a voting system whereby captains, coaches and media from around the world pick their top three players over the last year.

Being England manager and all, Roy Hodgson selected...