Argentina have been a perpetual candidate for the World Cup ever since winning their first title at home in 1978. With an enviable roster of stars and some of the best players in the world, it is therefore surprising to learn that the nation has not managed to pass the quarter-final stage for 24 years.
In 2014, however, many observers believe that it could be the year of the Albiceleste. The defence still fails to convince, but there are plenty of reasons why the side led by Lionel Messi could break that losing streak in Brazil.
So will it be La Pulga who lifts the Jules Rimet trophy in the Maracana on July 13? Here are five reasons why Argentina will be one of the teams to beat in the world's most prestigious football competition.