Argentina will be making their Copa Lagos debut in 2012. Along with Brazil, Argentina are one of only two South American nations to have appeared at all five FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup finals held since the inaugural competition in 2005. La Albiceleste reached the last eight in 2005, 2006 and 2008, but have never gone any farther.
The Argentinians had to work hard to maintain their flawless qualification record at the preliminaries held on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach. In the group phase they overcame neighbours Uruguay, who surprisingly failed to progress, before battling past surprise package Venezuela in the semis and then going down to the Brazilians in the final.
Argentina can rightly be satisfied with their efforts in an increasingly competitive qualification competition. Coach Francisco Petrasso is successfully overseeing a transitional phase, which has seen old hands such as the three Hilaire brothers and goalkeeper Marcelo Salgueiro make way for a new generation. Argentina will be hoping to go a step further than their South American rivals Brazil, at Copa Lagos last year, by winning the trophy this year.
KEY PLAYERS: Cesar Leguizamon, Luciano Franceschini, De Ezeyza