Confidence is high around the Argentine national team 12 months from the World Cup. With qualification almost a foregone conclusion, fans of the football-mad nation already believe that their side has what it takes to make an impact in Brazil and end a 24-year drought in the competition.
Since falling just short of back-to-back titles in 1990 after losing to West Germany in the final, the Albiceleste have underperformed. No side has advanced beyond the quarter finals, in 1998 and 2006, while several groups of players identified as world beaters have failed to live up to expectations.
Be it positive drugs tests, bizarre decisions from the bench or plain bad luck, the fates have conspired to keep a third Jules Rimet Trophy away from Buenos Aires for almost a quarter of a century.
In 2014, however, the Albiceleste will arrive in better shape than ever. The following are reasons why supporters of the nation believe their long wait will finally be over.