The 1978 FIFA World Cup Argentina was the tenth edition of the World Cup and took place in Argentina, between June 1 and June 25, 1978. The World Cup was returning to South America for the first time since 1962. The tournament was played in 6 stadiums, distributed in the cities of Buenos Aires, Rosario, Mar del Plata, Cordoba and Mendoza.
The mascot of this world cup was Gauchito Mundialito and the official ball underwent a revolutionary change with the appearance of the Adidas Tango. This ball became a classic design that was to last for five worlds, and had greater waterproofing than previous designs.
The tournament was not played by the young Diego Armando Maradona (at that time with 17 years old), nor by the consecrated Dutch star Johan Cruyff, but by other established international footballers of the time such as Johan Neeskens, Teófilo Cubillas, Zico, Dino Zoff and Mario Kempes, in addition to Michel Platini, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Paolo Rossi, among other outstanding values.
It was played with the same elimination system as in Germany Federal 1974: a first round with four qualifying groups, where the first two of each classified the second phase, in which the two finalists were defined. The grand final was played between the Netherlands, winners of Group A, and Argentina, who qualified by winning Group B. It was a very disputed match in which the teams had to go to overtime, since in the 90 minutes they had tied 1: one. Finally, with goals from Mario Kempes (2) and Daniel Bertoni (1) the Argentine team won by 3: 1, raising the cup for the first time, after having escaped in the 1930 World Cup, lose by 4: 2 in the final, against Uruguay.
The tournament was disputed while in Argentina ruled a dictatorship that had imposed a state terrorist regime, boycotted by some international human rights organizations. The Monumental Stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies were held is located a few meters from the ESMA, one of the main clandestine detention centers of the dictatorship. The decision to hold the tournament in Argentina, the relations between the military dictatorship in the country with FIFA, sports results and acts of corruption have been the subject of investigation and debate.
The venue of this World Cup was chosen on July 6, 1966 at the 35th FIFA Congress, held in London, the other candidate was Mexico, but when he was elected to organize the 1970 World Cup two years earlier, he withdrew his candidacy In that same congress the venues of the World Cups of 1974 and 1982 were determined, which were played in Federal Germany and Spain, respectively.
Argentina had tried to host the World Cup on three other occasions: 1938, 1962 and 1970. In 1936 France was chosen to organize the 1938 competition, which led to a boycott by the South American countries, except Brazil. , who understood that the third world championship should be held on their continent In 1956, at the Congress held in Lisbon, Chile won the vote to organize the 1962 competition, while in the 1964 Congress the one elected was Mexico, who He was the host in 1970.