Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Argentina .. 11

The official national sport of Argentina is pato, played with a six-handle ball on horseback, but the most popular sport is association football. The national football team has won 25 major international titles including two FIFA World Cups, two Olympic gold medals and fourteen Copa Américas. Over one thousand Argentine players play abroad, the majority of them in European football leagues. Basketball is the second most popular sport. The men's national basketball team won Olympic gold in the 2004 Olympics and the bronze medal in 2008. Argentina is currently ranked first by the International Basketball Federation. Argentina has an important rugby union football team, "Los Pumas", with many of its players playing in Europe. Argentina beat host nation France twice in the 2007 Rugby World Cup, placing them third in the competition. The Pumas are currently eighth in the official world rankings.[138] Other popular sports include field hockey, tennis, auto racing, boxing, volleyball, polo and golf.
The Argentine National Anthem was adopted in 1813, written by Vicente López y Planes with music by Blas Parera, although it was shortened to only three paragraphs without the vivid attacks against Spain. The Cockade of Argentina was first used during the May Revolution and was made official two years later. The Hornero, which habitates in almost all the national territory was made Argentina's national animal unanimously in 1927. The ceibo is its national flower and tree, pato, its national sport, asado its national dish, the Rhodochrosite its national stone, the Virgin of Lujan its patron saint and wine its national liquor.