The Sport

Argentines may not always work hard, but they certainly play hard, especially at sport. Besides football, they are brilliant at polo and tennis, and are working hard on their rugby, hockey, baseball and cricket, all part of the legacy of the British influence.

Rather like their love of cosmetic surgery, the Argentines’ passion for sport springs from their narcissistic streak and worship of the body beautiful. You never see fat Argentines. Everyone jogs and hits the gym, sometimes twice a day. Perhaps this is why cricket, which was introduced in 1809, far earlier than football, rugby and polo which arrived in the 1870s, never really caught on, although today there is sufficient interest to sustain two cricket divisions. Paradoxically, the greatest Argentine sporting icons, Diego Maradona, who has his own chat show and still commands pages of newsprint, is well known for his weight issues.