Top 10 Famous Athletes in Argentina

Argentina is well-known for its steak, tango, and wine but has produced some of the world’s best athletes. Argentina’s athletes are well-known around the world. You could argue that Argentina has an international-level representative in every sport.

Undoubtedly, some of the world’s greatest athletes were born in this South American country. And we’re not just referring to soccer players. As a result, almost every sport has a world-class Argentine delegate.

This article will list the ten most famous athletes from Argentina in history.

Diego Maradona

He is widely recognized as the greatest soccer player of all time. This is not without controversy, as others may claim this title for Pele or even Messi. He began his football career in 1975 with the Argentine Juniors, whose stadium still bears his name. He retired from the Boca Juniors in 1997.

Maradona is quite well for his national team participation. He was there when they won the world championship in Mexico in 1986 and finished second in Italy in 1990.

Sergio Martinez

Sergio Martinez is the twentieth century’s first pugilist porteo powerhouse. For 15 years, the now-retired middleweight boxer claimed ten minor, major, and regional titles.

Martinez was ranked among the three best pound-for-pound boxers worldwide for a time, with only Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather ahead of him, after convincing victories over Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams, and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Maravilla, who grew up in Quilmes, a village on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, amassed a record of 51 wins and three losses. His four-plus-year reign as middleweight champion is among the longest in the sport’s history.

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi wearing his football jersey

Lionel Messi’s place on this list is unarguable. Although “The Flea” has resided more in Spain than in Argentina, Argentinians regard him as a national hero due to his performance on the national team.

Messi is Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer in the Spanish league. In addition to that, he holds numerous records. He is also the player with the most Ballon D’Or and European Gold medals.

Manu Ginobili

Basketball is not the first thing that comes to mind when discussing sports in Argentina. But when it comes to Argentine basketball, Manu Ginobli comes to mind— perhaps the greatest basketball player to arise from the US. He’s succeeded in the sport’s most difficult market, the United States.

A 15-year NBA veteran, the San Antonio Spurs shooting guard, is a two-time all-star and has bagged four NBA championships and the Sixth Man of the Year Award. Along with Bill Bradley, he is one of only two players to have won an NBA championship, a Euroleague title, and an Olympic gold medal.

Argentina bagged its first Olympic gold medal in basketball, becoming the first country other than the United States since 1988, led by Ginobili. So he does deserve to be on this list.

Juan Manuel Fangio

Many recognize him as one of the best drivers in motorsports history. He won five Formula One titles (1951 and 1954-1957). Additionally, he was runner-up twice (1950 and 1953).

During his 51-race career, “El Chueco” won 24 races, had 23 fastest laps, was on the podium 35 times, and had 29 pole positions. He held the title for nearly 50 years till after Michael Schumacher “dethroned” him.

Guillermo Vilas

Guillermo Vilas wearing his tennis jersey and holding a necklace

While he might not be as well-known as Messi or Maradona, this southpaw from Mar del Plata has made quite a name for himself in tennis. He won four Grand Slam titles and dominated 1977 by scoring seven consecutive titles following Wimbledon. In 1981, he also led Argentina to its first Davis Cup Final.

Tennis became more popular in Argentina and Latin America due to Vilas’ success on the court. He inspired the names Guillermo Caas and Guillermo Coria.

Luciana Aymar

Of course, men aren’t Argentina’s only great athletes. Luciana Aymar used to play field hockey. Experts named her the best in the world in this sport eight times. They dubbed her a “hockey legend” in 2008.

Between 2009 and 2014, she was the captain of Argentina’s national team. She also competed in four Olympic Games, winning two bronze and two silver medals. Aymar won the Champions Trophy six times as well.

Javier Zanetti

For 20 years, retired full-back Javier Zanetti was regarded as among the best defenders in the world. While Zanetti has impressive hair (which fans and the media criticize), don’t let the locks fool you; he has the hardware to match.

From Inter, he won one Champions League, one UEFA Cup (now Europa League), five Serie A titles, four Supercoppa Italias, four Coppa Italias, and one club World Cup. He has been named one of FIFA’s top 125 players. Aside from his hair, it’s difficult to argue that he does not deserve to be on the list.

Gabriela Sabatini

Argentina’s best tennis player of all time has been the only one to have won the US Open. She also took silver in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. In terms of doubles, she bagged the Wimbledon Championship with Steffi Graf of Germany in 1988.

Carlos Monzon

Monzon is Argentina’s greatest boxer. Between 1970 and 1977, he held the middleweight title and fought 100 times.

Monzon also won 87 of them, including 59 by knockout. In 1977, he had his final fight, in which he fell to the mat for the first and only time in his career.

He defended his world middleweight title 14 times after being crowned champion in 1970. And this was against the best boxers of his generation.

a black and white photo of Carlos Monzon wearing a suit

Until his retirement in 1977, he won each challenge thrown at him. Despite this, his reputation was irreparably harmed by the murder of his wife, Alicia Muiz, in 1988.

We’ll conclude this article with some standouts. Roberto de Vicenzo is a legend in the sport of golf in Argentina.

Some country champions in combat sports include judo’s Paula Pareto and boxers Luis Angel Firpo and Pascual Perez. Maradona and Messi aren’t Argentina’s only soccer legends. There’s also Alfredo Di Stefano. 

Rugby is another sport in which the country has strong athletes. Hugo Post and Agustin Pichot are just two examples.

Polo players Juan Carlos Harriot and Adolfo Cambiasso are well-known. Many people will also recall the names Aaron Sheter (Basque pelota), Martin del Potro (tennis), and Hugo Conte (volleyball).