The gold medal in the Olympic Games for Argentine men’s football it had always been a great pending account until that conquest of the 2004, in Athens, when Marcelo Bielsa had his celebration with the Selection. Four years later In Beijing, the U23 defended the laurel crown and once again hung the gold from the hand of a team that irrigated Chinese soccer fields, with an impeccable campaign from debut to the final. Six played, six won, eleven goals for and just two against.

That Selection was supposed to be directed by Alfio Basile, at that time the Major’s coach. However, El Coco preferred not to take over that commitment and Julio Grondona decided that Sergio Batista, who was with the Sub 20, would be the driver of the Olympic team. Checho had several refusals from footballers over 23 that he would have liked to take, but finally he had the one he most wanted to be his captain and emblem: Juan roman riquelme.

From the 10th he began to build the rest of the National Team that had a great partner, after several back and forth to find out if he would participate in the Games: Lionel messi. With 21 years and 15 on my back, the Barcelona crack was the star that revolutionized the entire Olympic world with your presence. Another important piece was Javier Mascherano, who occupied one of the places for people over 23, and He was the only one that was repeated of the 2004 champions. And they had to be added to Sergio Aguero, who had been a scorer and appeared in the 2007 U-20 World Cup and was already a figure in Atlético Madrid.

The debut of the National Team was with a costly victory against Ivory Coast, which was defined with a goal from Lautaro acosta eight minutes from the end of the game: it was 2-1 and Messi he had converted the first. After Ezequiel Lavezzi culminated a great collective play to win 1-0 to Australia and the closing of Group A, already classified, was a 2-0 against Serbia with so many of Lavezzi and Diego Buonanotte. In the quarterfinals it was the bravest match: 1-1 (goal by Messi) in the 90 minutes and the appearance of Say Maria to celebrate in the overtime against the Netherlands.

At the age of 20 and after having spent his first season in Europe wearing the Benfica jersey, Fideo was Argentina’s great revelation at the Olympic Games, to the point that after that tournament he was called up by Basile for the Major. The PSG left-hander also scored the gold-winning goal in the final against Nigeria, on August 23, 2008, 12 years ago. But before that decisive encounter, The National Team had an early final because in the semi they crossed paths with Brazill – directed by Dunga – and crushed it with a resounding 3-0: two goals from Agüero and the third from Riquelme, from a penalty.

« I was never afraid of crashing the Ferrari », confessed Batista, already with the gold medal on his chest. It had been a great challenge for Checho, who at that time had the motivational support generated by the presence of Maradona in the locker room, only in a fan version although he felt very close to the boys. « We play the football we like, » the coach, who was world champion as a player and an Olympic champion as a coach, expressed his chest.

The Olympic roster
1 Oscar Ustari
2 Ezequiel Garay
3 Fabian Monzón
4 Pablo Zabaleta
5 Fernando Gago
6 Federico Fazio
7 José Ernesto Sosa
8 Ever Banega
9 Ezequiel Lavezzi
10 Juan Roman Riquelme
11 Angel Di Maria
12 Nicolas Pareja
13 Lautaro Acosta
14 Javier Mascherano
15 Lionel Messi
16 Sergio Aguero
17 Diego Buonanotte
18 Sergio Romero
19 Nicolás Navarro (replaced Ustari, injured)