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The Most Capped Argentinian Footballers Ever

Wed 16 March 2022 | 17:30

One of the most highlighted and successful South American nations in football, Argentina is the home to great footballers like Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona, however, in this post, we are not to let you know about the most honorable but the most capped Argentinian footballers ever.

One of the

most capped Argentinian players

- better said former player, namely the passed Diego Maradona, is also among Argentina football player legends, and another, namely the triumphant Lionel Messi, is believed to be Argentina best player of all time, though some believe Argentina best player of all time is still Maradona and no one else!

Of course, footballers like Daniel Passarella and Gabriel Batistuta are also considered to be among

Argentina best football players

ever or even Argentina football player legends, but with 70 and 78 caps, respectively, they are not at least among the first 10 most capped Argentinian players ever.

A List of the Most Capped Argentinian Footballers Ever

Well, at least to this point, you know that Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona are among the first 10 most capped Argentinian footballers ever, but let’s see which other top Argentinian footballers are on the list.

Lionel Messi (158 Caps)

Maybe you cannot still consider Messi as one of Argentina football player legends, but indeed, he’s indeed one of Argentina best football players, if he’s not actually

Argentina best player of all time

. Messi is also one of the two players on the list of most capped Argentinian players who is still active and that means he can still add to his international appearances and sit more strongly at the top of the list especially that he’s been called up to the Argentinian national team for 2022 World Cup, too. But as of this date (March 2022), Messi has made a total of 158 appearances for his country’s national team and at three different competitions: World Cup, Copa America, and international friendlies.

Here is a brief stats of Messi’s international appearances, of course, with the number of goals he has scored, assists he has provided, and yellow or red cards he has received: Friendlies, 47 appearances, 34 goals, 16 assists, 3 yellow cards, and one red card, World Cup qualification rounds, 58 appearances, 27 goals, 11 assists, and one yellow card, World Cup finals, 19 appearances, 6 goals, 5 assists, and one yellow card, and finally, Copa America, 34 appearances, 13 goals, 17 assists, 3 yellow cards, and one red card. These stats will change of course during the course of time which we will surely update you with.

By taking part in 2022 World Cup, Messi will join the league of four players in the history of World Cup who were part of their country’s national teams in five editions of the global competition with three of them, namely Rafael Marquez, Lothar Matthaus, Antonio Carbajal, actually having played in all the five editions they took part in and one of them, namely

Gianluigi Buffon

, in four editions. Messi is, by now, 34 years old, and if he can make it through to 2026 and is included in the Argentinian national team for the 2026 World Cup, then he will be the lone footballer in the history of football to have taken part in six editions of FIFA World Cup; another big undeniable achievement for him.

If you would like to know,

Messi

has been serving the Argentinian national team since 2005 - 16 years by now - and has taken part in four editions of FIFA World Cup, namely the 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 editions, captaining the Argentinian national team in 2014 and 2018 editions and finishing as runner-up in 2014 edition, and in six editions of Copa America, namely the 2007, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2019, and 2021 editions, captaining Argentina in 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2021 editions and winning the 2021 edition and finishing as runner-up in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019 editions with them. Messi has also served Argentina U20, and U23 national teams making 23 appearances and scoring 16 goals for them between 2004 and 2008 and actually winning the FIFA U-20 World Cup with the former in 2005. Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona are the only footballers on the list of most capped Argentinian footballers ever who have won the Ballon d’Or trophy with Maradona having two of such trophies to his name and Messi seven with four of them being consecutive.

Javier Mascherano (147 Caps)

You may not have heard much about Javier Mascherano, but nevertheless, with 147 caps he’s the second most capped Argentinian footballer after Messi. He actually retried from international career in 2018 after 15 years of service to the Argentinian national team between 2003 and 2018 during which, as mentioned above, he made 147 appearances for them. Mascherano is actually the one on the list of

most capped Argentinian footballers ever

with most international yellow cards to his name: 41 which is at least four times higher than the rest of the players on the list - we mean the first ten players on the list. He also received two second yellow cards leading a to a red card and one direct red card during his international career, and by that account, you can actually call him the most violent footballer on the list, too.

Anyway, let’s see in which competitions Mascherano made his international appearances and how many yellow cards he actually received in them. Well, Just like Messi, Mascherano’s international appearances also took place either in friendlies or in World Cup or Copa America. He made 52 appearances in international friendlies scoring one goal, providing one assist, and receiving 10 yellow cards and a second yellow card leading to a red card, 49 appearances in World Cup qualification rounds with 15 yellow cards and one red card, 20 appearances in World Cup finals with 7 yellow cards, and 26 appearances in Copa America with 2 goals, 9 yellow cards and a second yellow card leading to a red card.

Mascherano took part in four editions of World Cup, namely the 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 editions, with the Argentinian national team captaining the team in 2010 edition and finishing as runner-up with them in 2014. He was also part of the Argentinian national team in 2004, 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2016 editions of

Copa America

captaining the team in 2011 edition and finishing as runner-up with them in the rest - we mean 2004, 2007, 2015, and 2016 editions. The 37-year-old retired Argentinian defender is actually the first male footballer since 1968 who has won two Olympic football gold medals; actually in 2004 and 2008.

`Javier Zanetti (143 Caps)

Part of the Inter Milan team who won an unprecedented treble in Italian football history - Serie A, Champions League, and Coppa Italia all in 2009-10 season, Javier Zanetti is a 48-year-old retired Argentinian footballer known mostly as an Inter player since he actually served the same team for a major part of his career; actually for 19 years between 1995 and 2014 . He also served the

Argentinian national team

sometime between 1994 and 2011 making 143 appearances and scoring 5 goals for them in the process - he actually played as a defender or defensive midfielder, so, that low number of goals is quite natural in his case.

Although not a Ballon d’Or winner, Javier Zanetti is the only footballer on the list of most capped Argentinian footballers ever, of course, alongside Diego Maradona, who has won a Golden Foot award - actually in 2011 - and has been named on FIFA 100 list by the Brazilian legend, Pele, as one of the greatest living footballers in 21st century. As mentioned above, Zanetti’s international career actually lasted from 1994 to 2011, but he was called up to the Argentinian national team only twice and for 1998 and 2002 World Cups where he made 8 appearances and scored one goal. Most of Zanetti’s international appearances actually occurred in friendlies (54) and World Cup qualification rounds (51) and the remaining 30 in Copa America (22) and Confederations Cup (8).

Zanetti scored 3 goals in international friendlies and one goal in World Cup qualification rounds but no goal in Copa America and  Confederations Cup. He also provided 4 assists and received 9 yellow cards and one red card in all his international appearances. The retired Argentinian footballer took part in the 1995, 1999, 2004, 2007, and 2011 editions of Copa America where he finished twice as runner-up in 2004 and 2007 editions with the Argentinian national team, losing in both editions to Brazil; the former on penalties (6-4) and the latter during the normal game time (3-0).

Angel Di Maria (120 Caps)

The second and last active player on the list of

most capped Argentinian footballers ever

after Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria is a 34-year-old Argentinian winger and attacking midfielder who’s been serving the Argentinian national team since 2008. As you see, he has made a total of 120 international appearances to this date and during this time he also scored 23 goals which translates to almost one goal in every five appearances for him. Di Maria has been included in the Argentinian squad for 2022 World Cup but if he’s part of Argentine first-team for the global competition, we don’t know yet. If it’s so, then he could increase the number of his caps plus that during the time left until his retirement he can also make appearances in international friendlies; another way for him to increase his caps, however, that’s also a question if he can increase his caps by at least 23 during this time and overtake Javier Zanetti on the list. We shall wait and see.

Anyhow, let’s see how many international appearances and in which competitions

Di Maria

has made to this date. Unlike other footballers already mentioned on the list who actually made or have made most of their international appearances in friendlies, Di Maria has done so in World Cup qualification rounds. He has made a total of 47 appearances in 2010, 2014, and 2018 World Cup qualification rounds with 7 goals scored, 8 assists provided, and 4 yellow cards and one red card received. He has also made 13 appearances, scored 2 goals and received one yellow card. In international friendlies, he has made 37 appearances, scored 9 goals, provided 9 assists, and received 2 yellow cards, and finally in Copa America, he has made a total of 23 appearances, scored 5 goals, provided 6 assists, and received 1 yellow card. So in total, Di Maria has made a total of 120 international appearances, scored 23 goals, provided 23 assists, and received 8 yellow cards and one red card up to this date. Di Maria has never scored more than two goals in a single international match.

Roberto Ayala (116 Caps)

One of the best center backs of his generation and a former player of the top Serie A clubs, Napoli and AC Milan, Roberto Ayala is a 48-year-old retired Argentinian footballer who served the Argentinian national team sometime between 1994 and 2007 making 116 appearances and scoring 7 goals for them in the process, though some sources say it is 113 caps and 6 goals. So, if we take the latter as true, then Ayala’s international stats concerning the number of appearances he made, goals he scored, assists he provided, and yellow and red cards he received will be as follows.

Ayala actually made 41 appearances in international friendlies with 3 goals scored, 2 assists provided, and 3 yellow cards received. In World Cup qualification rounds, he made a total of 40 appearances, scored one goal, provided one assist, and received 7 yellow cards and one red card, and in World Cup finals, 10 appearances, one goal and one yellow card - he actually took part in 1998, 2002, and 2006 World Cups with the Argentinian national team. And the rest of his international appearances? Well, 19 of these appearances actually took place in Copa America where he managed to score one goal and also received 5 yellow cards and a second yellow card leading to a red card, and 3 in Confederations Cup with one yellow card received. You shouldn’t expect a defender to have scored so many goals during his career and that’s also the case with Ayala, however, considering that he captained Argentina in 51 international appearances shows that he was no ordinary defender but a player to count on on the field.

Diego Simeone (108 Caps)

Although he’s not considered as one of Argentina football player legends, he’s, for sure, one of the legendary players in the history of the La Liga club,

Atletico Madrid

, due to his achievements with the club both as a player and manager, one of them, for instance, is winning UEFA Super Cup in 2012, as a manager of course, by defeating the top Premier League club, Chelsea, 4-1 in the competition’s final. Ja! That’s Diego Simeone, the Argentinian midfielder who although served other top European clubs like Inter Milan and Lazio during his career, he is often known as an Atletico Madrid personality due to his achievements with the club, and also the period he served them: 5 years as a player and in two time periods, and as a manager, since 2011 which counts for 11 years up until now.

Simeone actually made a total of 108 appearances for the Argentinian national team between 1988 and 2002 during which he scored 11 goals and provided 7 assists for them. He also received 18 yellow cards and one red card during this time. Of course, some sources say the actual number of Simeone’s international appearances and goals is 102 and 10, respectively, which if we take as true, then his international stats concerning his appearances and goals will be as follows - we also cite the assists he provided and the cards he received: Friendlies, 36 appearances, 2 goals, 3 assists, and 7 yellow cards, World Cup qualification rounds, 33 appearances, 2 goals, 1 assist, 8 yellow cards, and 1 red card, World Cup finals, 11 appearances, 3 assists, and 2 yellow cards, Copa America, 19 appearances, 5 goals, and one yellow card, Confederations Cup, 2 appearances and one goal, and Artemio Franchi Trophy, only one appearance.

The 51-year-old retired Argentinian midfielder actually took part in four editions of FIFA World Cup, namely the 1990, 1994, 1998, and 2002 editions, with his country’s national team to finish as runner-up in 1990 edition after losing 1-0 to Germany, and in six editions of Copa America, namely the 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, and 1999 editions, winning the 1993 edition after beating Mexico 2-1 in the competition’s final. Simeone never scored more than one goal in a single international match during his career.

Sergio Aguero (101 Caps)

Recently retired - he retired in 2021 - and the last footballer on the list of most capped Argentinian footballers ever with more than 100 caps to his name, Sergio Aguero is a 33-year-old retired Argentinian forward who is often known as a Manchester City player because of his 10-year service to the Premier League club from 2011 to 2021. Aguero is actually the second one after Messi on the list with the most number of goals scored for the Argentinian national team; even more than Maradona who scored 34 goals during his international career.

Aguero

scored 41 goals in his 101 appearances for the Argentinian national team between 2006 and 2021 which gets him a goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.4 meaning that he scored two goals in every 5 of his international appearances. He was actually part of the Argentinian national team who finished as runner-up in 2014 World Cup and won 2021 Copa America by beating Brazil 1-0 in the competition’s final. Other than that, he took part in 2010 and 2018 editions of FIFA World Cup and in 2007, 2011, 2015, 2016, and 2019 editions of Copa America with the Argentinian national team finishing as runner-up in 2015 and 2016 editions.

Here are Aguero’s international stats concerning his appearances, goals, assists, and yellow and red cards: Friendlies, 37 appearances, 21 goals, 12 assists, and 3 yellow cards, World Cup qualification rounds, 28 appearances, 9 goals, 3 assists, and 4 yellow cards, World Cup finals, 12 appearances, 2 goals, one assists, and one yellow card, and Copa America, 24 appearances, 9 goals, 3 assists, and 2 yellow cards. In total, Aguero made a total of 101 appearances, scored 41 goals, provided 19 assists, and received 10 yellow cards on international level during his career. The most number of goals he scored in a single international match was in a friendly against

Bolivia

in 2015 where he scored a hat-trick helping his team in a 5-0 win. Aguero also served Argentina U17, U20, and U23 teams sometime between 2004 and 2008 making 21 appearances and scoring 11 goals for them in the process. He won 2005 and 2007 FIFA U20 World Cups with Argentine U20 team and Olympic football gold medal in 2008 with Argentine U23 team. He also won the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe of 2007 FIFA U20 World Cup.

Oscar Ruggeri (97 Caps)

Another defender on the list of

most capped Argentinian footballers ever

, Oscar Ruggeri is a 60-year-old retired Argentinian footballer who served the Argentinian national team sometime between 1983 and 1994 making 97 appearances and scoring 7 goals for them in the process. Ruggeri was actually part of the Argentinian national team who won 1986 FIFA World Cup and 1991 and 1993 editions of Copa America and finished as runner-up in 1990 World Cup and on the fourth place in 1987 Copa America.

It might be interesting for you to know that with four red cards received in his international appearances, Ruggeri is the one with most red cards on the list of most capped Argentinian footballers ever. Is it a proof to his violent game, maybe and maybe not because he received only 8 yellow cards during his international career - just compare it to the 41 yellow cards Javier Mascherano received during his career. And according to some sources, Ruggeri actually made 83 international appearances and scored 6 goals during his career which if we take as true, here is the number of appearances he made, the number of goals he scored, and yellow and red cards he received in his international appearances: Friendlies, 37 appearances, 4 goals, 2 yellow cards, and one red card, World Cup qualification rounds, 7 appearances, 3 yellow cards and one red card, World Cup finals, 16 appearances, 1 goal, and 3 yellow cards, Copa America, 21 appearances, 1 goal, and 2 red cards, and finally Confederations Cup, 2 appearances.

Sergio Romero (96 Caps)

The only goalkeeper on the list of most capped Argentinian footballers ever, Sergio Romero is a 35-year-old goalkeeper who although have retried from international career, he’s still active at club level having served the top Premier League club, Manchester United, for six years between 2015 and 2021 and currently serving the Serie A club,

Venezia

. Romero actually served the Argentinian national team sometime between 2009 and 2018 making 96 appearances for them in the process. He also conceded 69 goals - almost 1.5 goals in every two appearances - and managed to collect 47 clean sheets - almost one clean sheet in every two appearances - during this time.

Here are Romero’s international stats concerning his appearances, goals conceded, and clean sheets collected: Friendlies, 33 appearances, 21 goals conceded, and 18 clean sheets collected, World Cup qualification rounds, 35 appearances, 31 goals conceded, and 13 clean sheets collected, World Cup finals, 12 appearances, 10 goals conceded, and 6 clean sheets collected, Copa America, 16 appearances, 7 goals conceded, and 10 clean sheets collected. Romero was part of the Argentinian national team in 2010, 2014, and 2018 editions of FIFA World Cup where he managed to finish as runner-up in 2014 edition with his team and could not play in the 2018 edition due to a knee injury. He also took part in 2011, 2015, and 2016 editions of Copa America with the Argentinian national team finishing as runner-up in 2015 and 2016 editions losing to Chile in both occasions on penalties - in 2015 4-1 and in 2016 4-2.

Diego Maradona (91 Caps)

And here comes the passed Argentinian footballer who is not only considered as one of

Argentina football player legends

but also Argentina best player of all time as some believe: Diego Maradona. Maradona actually served the Argentinian national team between 1977 and 1994 making 91 appearances and scoring 34 goals for them in the process, however, over this, there is controversy as some sources say he made 78 international appearances and scored 29 goals, while some other say the actual numbers are 81 and 30.

Anyway, if we take the second claim as true - we mean 78 international appearances and 29 goals, then Maradona’s international stats concerning his international appearances, goals, assists, and yellow and red cards are as follows: Friendlies, 36 appearances, 14 goals, and 4 assists, World Cup qualification rounds, 8 appearances, 3 goals, 1 assist, and 1 yellow card, World Cup finals, 21 appearance, 8 goals, 8 assists, 4 yellow cards and a red card, Copa America, 12 appearances and 4 goals, and finally Artemio Franchi Trophy, only one appearance.

Maradona was part of the Argentinian national team in 1982, 1986, 1990, and 1994 World Cups winning the 1986 edition after beating Germany 3-2 in the final, and finishing as runner-up in 1990 edition as Argentina lost to Germany 1-0 in the same stage. He actually captained the Argentinian national team in whole 1990 World Cup and part of 1986 and 1994 World Cups, and took part in the 1979, 1987, and 1989 editions of Copa America with the Argentinian national team with no achievement except for one fourth place in the 1987 edition.

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source: SportMob

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