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Who might emerge -- as Messi once did -- at South America Under-20 Championships?

In 2005, South America's under-20 tournament proved a springboard for Lionel Messi to U20 Wrld Cup and global stardom.

Venezuela are the only South American nation never to have made it to a World Cup. But they are convinced that their time will come in 2022 -- and their optimism is based on much more than mere faith. Two years ago they went to the final of the Under-20 World Cup, where they missed a penalty before losing 1-0 to England.

In Venezuela, they believe this generation will carry them all the way to Qatar -- an illustration of the importance that South America attaches to its under-20 teams.

There is...

Argentina club's new owner banned over links to Boca Juniors hooligan groups

The newly elected president of Argentine club Almirante Brown has been barred from entering football stadiums to see his team due to his "recognised links" with hooligan groups, a Buenos Aires law enforcement agency said on Monday.

Maximiliano Levy was elected as president of the third-tier club on Sunday but the agency set up to prevent violence at sporting events, known as APreViDe, immediately said it would ban him because of his links to a violent Boca Juniors' barra brava, or organised hooligan...

Argentina great Diego Maradona released from hospital after scheduled surgery

Dorados de Sinaloa coach Diego Armando Maradona
Diego Maradona was diagnosed with stomach bleeding during routine exams.

Argentina's World Cup winning captain Diego Maradona was released from hospital on Sunday after successfully undergoing a routine operation for stomach bleeding, his lawyer said.

The 58-year old former Boca Juniors and Napoli player discovered the problem in early January during a check up at a hospital in Olivos, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.

"Diego Maradona has just been released from hospital and is heading home to continue with his recuperation," the player's lawyer Matias Morla said on...

Gerardo Martino's blend of international experience and small-town roots perfect for Mexico

Even with his extensive managerial resume, ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno is unsure Tata Martino will be able to satisfy Mexico's high expectations.

ROSARIO, Argentina -- Draw a circle with a circumference of just a few blocks around the Jorge Cura neighborhood on the south side of Argentine city Rosario and you'll encompass most of the really important things in Gerardo "Tata" Martino's life. For a figure with a profile as international as the new Mexico coach and for someone who has worked outside of Argentina for the vast majority of the last 15 years, the 56-year-old remains inextricably linked and grounded to his barrio in Rosario.

Martino's...

Messi's holiday in Rosario again fuels hope of a return home to play for Newell's Old Boys

It isn't until you get near the block Lionel Messi grew up on that you start to see signs the Barcelona legend is from there.
It isn't until you get near the block Lionel Messi grew up on that you start to see signs that the Barcelona legend is from there.

ROSARIO, Argentina -- There's only one place Lionel Messi and his family go to spend Christmas, and it isn't Ibiza, Los Angeles or Monte Carlo.

The Argentine might have lived in Barcelona since he was 13 years old, but every Christmas, he and his family return to their native city of Rosario. This year was no exception.

The Messi clan flew back from Barcelona in their private jet, dropped Luis Suarez and his family in Uruguay en route and landed in Rosario on Sunday morning.

Eating a milanesa napolitana,...