Having reached the final in 1930, Argentina had to wait a while before winning the World Cup, which they eventually did on own soil in 1978. The great support for the home team helped carry them to victory over the Netherlands in the final, Cruyff having turned his back as he refused to travel to Argentina because of the political situation.
Argentina were outplayed by Italy in the opening round group games, but charged back to reach the final with a 6-0 win over Peru. In Daniel Passarella, Osvaldo Ardiles and Mario Kempes, top scorer with six goals, they had outstanding players. They beat the Dutch 3-1 after extra time in the final.
England, Yugoslavia and the USSR failed to qualify while France was back in the Worldâ€™s biggest competition after twelve years in the wilderness. All the tournament favourites made short work of their first round opponents except the Netherlands.
But the Dutch managed to survive and in the second round, led by a rejuvenated Robbie Rensenbrink, they began to show what they were capable of and reached the final by trouncing Austria 5-1, defeating Italy 2-1 and then drawing with the title-holders West Germany (2-2).
In the final, however, Cesar Luis Menottiâ€™s men were worthy winners (3-1 after extra-time) over a Dutch side out of sorts again at the final hurdle.