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83rd Minute Daniel Bertoni, Argentina v Hungary 1978

Argentina won the right to host the World Cup at a time when a brutal military dictatorship was ruling the country. The decision to award the World Cup to such a politically unstable country was seen as very controversial. It’s a dark cloud that has never quite cleared over this tournament but nevertheless it turned out to be a glorious month for Argentinian football and the ticker tape filled pitches are a wonderfully iconic image. In their opening game in Buenos Aires they found themselves 1-0 down to the unfancied Hungarians. The deficit was soon cancelled out with Luque levelling, leaving the score all square at half time. The Argentines kept on attacking in the second half and brought on two subs that sparked the victory.
The Goal
Norberto Alonso and Daniel Bertoni came on within minutes on each other in the second half and they combined for the goal with the help of some poor goalkeeping. Television at the time credited the goal to Alonso who wearing the number 1 shirt but as you’ll see below the goal was Bertoni’s for sure and is recorded as such by FIFA.

(Interview before the clip of the goal is with Alonso.)

What Happened Next?
Argentina made it out of this group stage despite losing to Italy and in to a second group stage with Brazil, Poland and Peru. The defeat to Italy actually meant they moved away from the cavernous El Monumental and to the intimidating Estadio Gigante de Arroyito in Rosario where local hero Mario Kempes found top form and won the Golden Boot.  They eventually reached the final in circumstances that will forever be murky with a 6-0 win over Peru. Daniel Bertoni popped up again in the final to score the third and final goal as Albiceleste triumphed 3-1 over the Dutch. A performance and result that deserves more respect than it gets.

Bertoni earnt a move to Sevilla shortly after this World Cup before moving on to play in Italy for Fiorentina. He also joined up with a certain Diego Maradona at Napoli but missed out on winning Serie A as he left the season they won it.


The Argentina squad was numbered in alphabetical order, click here to see the squad list!

Bertoni scored against Hungary again four years later in Spain ’82

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