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The Argentina national football team (Spanish: Selección de fútbol de Argentina) represents Argentina in football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association (AFA), the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti in Buenos Aires.
La Selección (national team), also known as the Albicelestes, has appeared in five World Cup finals, including the first final in 1930, which they lost 4–2 to Uruguay. Argentina won in their next final appearance in 1978, beating the Netherlands at extra time, 3–1. Argentina, led by Diego Maradona won again in 1986, a 3–2 victory over West Germany. They again made the World Cup finals in 1990, and lost 1–0 to West Germany following a controversial penalty call in the 87th minute. Argentina, led by Lionel Messi made their fifth appearance in a World Cup final in 2014, again losing to Germany, 1–0 during extra-time. Argentina's World Cup winning managers are César Luis Menotti in 1978, and Carlos Bilardo in 1986.
Argentina has been very successful in the Copa América, winning it 14 times and also winning the 'extra' South American Championships in 1941, 1945 and 1946. The team also won the 1992 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 1993 Artemio Franchi Trophy. The Argentine olympic team won the Olympics football tournaments in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.
Argentina, Brazil, Germany and France are the only national teams that have won the three most important men's titles recognized by FIFA: the World Cup, the Confederations Cup, and the Olympic tournament. They have also won their respective continental championship (Copa América for Argentina and Brazil, and UEFA European Championship for Germany and France).
Argentina is known for having rivalries with Brazil, Uruguay, England and Germany due to historic occurrences with one another throughout football history.
Croatia ( ( listen) kroh-AY-shə; Croatian: Hrvatska [xř̩ʋaːtskaː]), officially the Republic of Croatia (Croatian: Republika Hrvatska, listen ), is a sovereign state situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, on the Adriatic Sea. Its capital is Zagreb, which forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, along with its twenty counties. Croatia has a total area of 56,594 square kilometres (21,851 square miles) and a population of 4.28 million, most of whom are Roman Catholics.
The Croats arrived in the area of present-day Croatia during the 6th century AD. They organised the state into two duchies by the 9th century. Tomislav became the first king by 925, elevating Croatia to the status of a kingdom. The Kingdom of Croatia retained its sovereignty for nearly two centuries, reaching its peak during the rule of Kings Petar Krešimir IV and Dmitar Zvonimir. Croatia entered a personal union with Hungary in 1102. In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest, the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of the House of Habsburg to the Croatian throne. During the early 19th century, parts of the country were split into the French Illyrian Provinces while Austria-Hungary occupied its Bosnia and Herzegovina side–a dispute settled by the 1878 Treaty of Berlin. In 1918, after World War I, Croatia was included in the unrecognized State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs which seceded from Austria-Hungary and merged into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Following the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia, most of the Croatian territory was incorporated into the Nazi-backed client-state which led to the development of a resistance movement and creation of the Federal State of Croatia which after the war become a founding member and a federal constituent of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On 25 June 1991, Croatia declared independence, which came wholly into effect on 8 October of the same year. The Croatian War of Independence was fought successfully for four years following the declaration.
Croatia is a republic governed under a parliamentary system and a developed country with a very high standard of living. Croatia is a member of the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN), the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. As an active participant in the UN peacekeeping forces, Croatia has contributed troops to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and took a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2008–2009 term. Since 2000, the Croatian government has constantly invested in infrastructure, especially transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors.
Croatia's economy is characterized by the dominance of service and industrial sectors and agriculture. Tourism is a significant source of revenue, with Croatia ranked among top 20 most popular tourist destinations in the world. The state controls a part of the economy, with substantial government expenditure. The European Union is Croatia's most important trading partner. Croatia provides a social security, universal health care system, and a tuition-free primary and secondary education, while supporting culture through numerous public institutions and corporate investments in media and publishing.