Defender (association football)
In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. There are four types of defenders: centre-back, full-back, wing-back; the centre-back and full-back positions are essential in most modern formations. The sweeper and wing-back roles are more specialised for certain formations. A centre-back defends in the area directly in front of the goal, tries to prevent opposing players centre-forwards, from scoring. Centre-backs accomplish this by blocking shots, intercepting passes, contesting headers and marking forwards to discourage the opposing team from passing to them. With the ball, centre-backs are expected to make long and pinpoint passes to their teammates, or to kick unaimed long balls down the field. For example, a clearance is a long unaimed kick intended to move the ball as far as possible from the defender's goal. Due to the many skills centre-backs are required to possess in the modern game, many successful contemporary central-defensive partnerships have involved pairing a more physical defender with a defender, quicker, more comfortable in possession and capable of playing the ball out from the back.
During normal play, centre-backs are unlikely to score goals. However, when their team takes a corner kick or other set pieces, centre-backs may move forward to the opponents' penalty area. In this case, other defenders or midfielders will temporarily move into the centre-back positions; some centre-backs have been known for their direct free kicks and powerful shots from distance. Brazilian defenders David Luiz and Naldo have been known for using the cannonball free kick method, which relies more on power than placement. In the modern game, most teams employ three centre-backs in front of the goalkeeper; the 4–2–3–1, 4–3–3, 4–4–2 formations all use two centre-backs. There are two main defensive strategies used by centre-backs: the zonal defence, where each centre-back covers a specific area of the pitch; the sweeper is a more versatile centre-back who "sweeps up" the ball if an opponent manages to breach the defensive line. This position is rather more fluid than that of other defenders who man-mark their designated opponents.
Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as libero. Though sweepers may be expected to build counter-attacking moves, as such require better ball control and passing ability than typical centre-backs, their talents are confined to the defensive realm. For example, the catenaccio system of play, used in Italian football in the 1960s, employed a purely defensive sweeper who only "roamed" around the back line; the more modern libero possesses the defensive qualities of the typical libero while being able to expose the opposition during counterattacks. The Fundell-libero has become more popular in recent time with the sweeper transitioning to the most advanced forward in an attack; this variation on the position requires great fitness. While seen in professional football, the position has been extensively used in lower leagues. Modern libero sit behind centre-backs as a sweeper before charging through the team to join in the attack; some sweepers move forward and distribute the ball up-field, while others intercept passes and get the ball off the opposition without needing to hurl themselves into tackles.
If the sweeper does move up the field to distribute the ball, they will need to make a speedy recovery and run back into their position. In modern football, its usage has been restricted, with few clubs in the biggest leagues using the position; the position is most believed to have been pioneered by Franz Beckenbauer, Gaetano Scirea, Elías Figueroa, although they were not the first players to play this position. Earlier proponents included Alexandru Apolzan, Ivano Blason, Velibor Vasović, Ján Popluhár. Other defenders who have been described as sweepers include Bobby Moore, Franco Baresi, Ronald Koeman, Fernando Hierro, Matthias Sammer, Aldair, due to their ball skills and long passing ability. Though it is used in modern football, it remains a respected and demanding position. A recent and successful use of the sweeper was made by Otto Rehhagel, Greece's manager, during UEFA Euro 2004. Rehhagel utilized Traianos Dellas as Greece's sweeper to great success, as Greece became European champions.
Although this position has become obsolete in modern football formations, due to the use of zonal marking and the offside trap, certain players such as Daniele De Rossi:, Leonardo Bonucci, Javi Martínez and David Luiz have played a similar role as a ball-playing central defender in a 3–5–2 or 3–4–3 formation. Some goalkeepers, who are comfortable leaving their goalmouth to intercept and clear through balls, who participate more in play, such as René Higuita, Manuel Neuer, Edwin van der Sar, Fabien Barthez, Hugo Lloris, among others, have been referred to as sweep
Germany national football team
The Germany national football team is the men's football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association, founded in 1900. Since the DFB was reinaugurated in 1949 the team has represented the Federal Republic of Germany. Under Allied occupation and division, two other separate national teams were recognised by FIFA: the Saarland team representing the Saarland and the East German team representing the German Democratic Republic. Both have been absorbed along with their records by the current national team; the official name and code "Germany FR" was shortened to "Germany" following the reunification in 1990. Germany is one of the most successful national teams in international competitions, having won four World Cups, three European Championships, one Confederations Cup, they have been runners-up three times in the European Championships, four times in the World Cup, a further four third-place finishes at World Cups. East Germany won Olympic Gold in 1976.
Germany is the only nation to have won both the FIFA Women's World Cup. At the end of the 2014 World Cup, Germany earned the highest Elo rating of any national football team in history, with a record 2205 points. Germany is the only European nation that has won a FIFA World Cup in the Americas; the manager of the national team is Joachim Löw. Between 1899 and 1901, prior to the formation of a national team, there were five unofficial international matches between German and English selection teams, which all ended as large defeats for the German teams. Eight years after the establishment of the German Football Association, the first official match of the Germany national football team was played on 5 April 1908, against Switzerland in Basel, with the Swiss winning 5–3. Gottfried Fuchs scored a world record 10 goals for Germany in a 16–0 win against Russia at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm on 1 July, becoming the top scorer of the tournament, he was Jewish, the German Football Association erased all references to him from their records between 1933 and 1945.
As of 2016, he was still the top German scorer for one match. The first match after World War I in 1920, the first match after World War II in 1950 when Germany was still banned from most international competitions, the first match in 1990 with former East German players were all against Switzerland as well. Germany's first championship title was won in Switzerland in 1954. At that time the players were selected by the DFB; the first manager of the Germany national team was Otto Nerz, a school teacher from Mannheim, who served in the role from 1926 to 1936. The German FA could not afford travel to Uruguay for the first World Cup staged in 1930 during the Great Depression, but finished third in the 1934 World Cup in their first appearance in the competition. After a poor showing at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Sepp Herberger became coach. In 1937 he put together a squad, soon nicknamed the Breslau Elf in recognition of their 8–0 win over Denmark in the German city of Breslau, Lower Silesia.
After Austria became part of Germany in the Anschluss of March 1938, that country's national team – one of Europe's best sides at the time due to professionalism – was disbanded despite having qualified for the 1938 World Cup. Nazi politicians ordered five or six ex-Austrian players, from the clubs Rapid Vienna, Austria Vienna, First Vienna FC, to join the all-German team on short notice in a staged show of unity for political reasons. In the 1938 World Cup that began on 4 June, this "united" German team managed only a 1–1 draw against Switzerland and lost the replay 2–4 in front of a hostile crowd in Paris, France; that early exit stands as Germany's worst World Cup result, one of just two occasions the team failed to progress the group stage. During World War II, the team played over 30 international games between September 1939 and November 1942. National team games were suspended, as most players had to join the armed forces. Many of the national team players were gathered together under coach Herberger as Rote Jäger through the efforts of a sympathetic air force officer trying to protect the footballers from the most dangerous wartime service.
After World War II, Germany was banned from competition in most sports until 1950. The DFB was not a full member of FIFA, none of the three new German states — West Germany, East Germany, Saarland — entered the 1950 World Cup qualifiers; the Federal Republic of Germany, referred to as West Germany, continued the DFB. With recognition by FIFA and UEFA, the DFB continued the record of the pre-war team. Switzerland was once again the first team that played West Germany in 1950. West Germany qualified for the 1954 World Cup; the Saarland, under French control between 1947 and 1956, did not join French organisations, was barred from participating in pan-German ones. It sent their own team to the 1954 World Cup qualifiers. In 1957, Saarland acceded to the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1949, the communist German Democratic Republic was founded. In 1952 the Deutscher Fußball-Verband der DDR was established and the East Germany national football team took to the field, they were the only team to beat the 1974 FIFA World Cup winning West Germans in the onl
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
The UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was a football club competition contested annually by the most recent winners of all European domestic cup competitions. The cup was one of the many inter-European club competitions that have been organised by the Union of European Football Associations; the first competition was held in the 1960–61 season — but not recognised by the governing body of European football until two years later. The final tournament was held in 1998 -- 99. From 1972 onwards, the winner of the tournament progressed to play the winner of the European Cup in the UEFA Super Cup. Since the abolition of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, the UEFA Super Cup place reserved for the Cup Winners' Cup winner has been taken by the winner of the UEFA Cup, now UEFA Europa League; the competition's official name was the European Cup Winners' Cup. Throughout its 39-year history, the Cup Winners' Cup was always a straight knock-out tournament with two-legged home and away ties until the single match final staged at a neutral venue, the only exception to this being the two-legged final in the competition's first year.
In common with other UEFA club tournaments, the away goal applied. The format was identical to the original European Champions' Cup with 32 teams contesting four knock-out rounds prior to the showpiece final, with the tournament running from September to May each year. Following the influx of new UEFA member nations during the 1990s, a regular August preliminary round was added to reduce the number of entrants to 32. Entry was restricted to one club from each UEFA member association, the only exception being to allow the current Cup Winners' Cup holders to enter alongside their nation's new domestic cup winners in order to allow them a chance to defend their Cup Winners' Cup title. However, if this team qualified for the European Champions' Cup they would default on their place in the Cup Winners' Cup and no other team would replace them. On occasions when a club completed a domestic league and cup'double' that club would enter the European Cup/UEFA Champions League and their place in the Cup Winners' Cup would be taken by the domestic cup runners-up.
In 1998–99, the competition's final year, Heerenveen of the Netherlands entered the Cup Winners' Cup despite only reaching the semi-final of the previous season's Dutch Cup. This was due to both Dutch Cup finalists Ajax and PSV Eindhoven qualifying for the expanded Champions League. Mirroring the circumstances behind the creation of the European Cup five years earlier, the idea for a pan-European cup competition contested by all of Europe's domestic cup winners came from prominent European sports journalists; the European Cup had proven to be a great success and the Fairs Cup had proven popular – as a result, other ideas for new European football tournaments were being aired. One proposal was for a tournament based upon the format of the European Cup, but with national cup winners rather than league champions taking part, which could run alongside that competition; the inaugural Cup Winners' Cup was held in the 1960–61 season and was a semi-official pilot tournament. However the initial reaction to the competition's creation was unenthusiastic on the part of many of Europe's top clubs – many European associations did not have domestic cup competitions at the time and in those countries that did, the cup competition was held in low esteem and not taken by the bigger clubs.
It was only in England, Scotland and to a lesser extent Germany and Spain that the domestic cup was considered prestigious. Many were sceptical about the viability of a European tournament for cup winners and many of the bigger clubs eligible to contest the first CWC turned down the chance to enter, such as Atlético Madrid of Spain and AS Monaco of France; the inaugural CWC was contested by just 10 clubs but the games were well attended and the response from the public and the media to the new tournament was positive and enthusiastic. For the tournament's second season in 1961–62, UEFA took over the running of all aspects of the competition and this time all the clubs eligible to enter accepted the opportunity. By 1968, all UEFA member nations had set up domestic cup competitions due to the success of the Cup Winners' Cup. UEFA regarded it as the second most prestigious competition, behind the European Cup and ahead of the Fairs Cup. Therefore, a team qualified for both the European Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup would play in the European Cup, whereas a team qualified for both the UEFA Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup would play in the Cup Winners' Cup.
Many commentators and fans regarded the Cup Winners' Cup as weaker than the UEFA Cup, which had more and better teams from the stronger European leagues. In the 1985–86 season, English clubs were banned from European competition as a result of Heysel Stadium disaster. Manchester United, Coventry City and Liverpool were prevented from competing in the Cup Winners' Cup until the beginning of the 1990–91 season. No club managed to retain the Cup Winners' Cup, although eight times a winning side followed up their victories with a losing appearance in the following season's final. After the establishment of the UEFA Champions League in the early 1990s, the standing and prestige of the Cup Winners' Cup began to decline. With th
CONMEBOL Copa América, known until 1975 as the South American Football Championship, is a men's international football tournament contested between national teams from CONMEBOL. It is the oldest international continental football competition; the competition determines the continental champion of South America. Since the 1990s, teams from North America and Asia have been invited to participate. Since 1993, the tournament has featured 12 teams – all 10 CONMEBOL teams and two additional teams from other confederations. Mexico has participated in every tournament since 1993, with one additional team drawn from CONCACAF, except for 1999, when AFC team Japan filled out the 12-team roster; the 2016 version of the event, Copa América Centenario, featured sixteen teams, with six teams from CONCACAF in addition to the 10 from CONMEBOL. Mexico's two runner-up finishes are the highest for a non-CONMEBOL side. Eight of the ten CONMEBOL national teams have won the tournament at least once in its 45 stagings since the event's inauguration in 1916, with only Ecuador and Venezuela yet to win.
Uruguay has the most championships in the tournament's history, with 15 cups, while the current champion, has two cups. Argentina, which hosted the inaugural edition in 1916, has hosted the tournament the most times; the United States is the only non-CONMEBOL country to host, having hosted the event in 2016. On three occasions, the tournament was held in multiple South American countries; the highest finishing member of CONMEBOL has the right to participate in the next edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup, but is not obliged to do so. The first football team in South America, Lima Cricket and Football Club, was established in Peru in 1859, the Argentine Football Association was founded in 1893. By the early 20th century, football was growing in popularity, the first international competition held between national teams of the continent occurred in 1910 when Argentina organized an event to commemorate the centenary of the May Revolution. Chile and Uruguay participated, but this event is not considered official by CONMEBOL.
For the centennial celebration of its independence, Argentina held a tournament between 2 and 17 July 1916 with Argentina, Chile and Brazil being the first participants of the tournament. This so-called Campeonato Sudamericano de Football would be the first edition of what is known as Copa América. Seeing the success of the tournament, a boardmember of the Uruguayan Football Association, Héctor Rivadavia, proposed the establishment of a confederation of the associations of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, on 9 July, independence day in Argentina, CONMEBOL was founded; the following year, the competition was played again, this time in Uruguay. Uruguay would win the title again to win their bicampeonato after defeating Argentina 1–0 in the last match of the tournament; the success of the tournament on Charrúan soil would help consolidate the tournament. After a flu outbreak in Rio de Janeiro canceled the tournament in 1918, Brazil hosted the tournament in 1919 and was crowned champion for the first time after defeating the defending champions 1–0 in a playoff match to decide the title, while the Chilean city of Viña del Mar would host the 1920 event, won by Uruguay.
For the 1921 event, Paraguay participated for the first time after its football association affiliated to CONMEBOL earlier that same year. Argentina won the competition for the first time thanks to the goals of Julio Libonatti. In subsequent years, Uruguay would dominate the tournament, which at that time was the largest football tournament in the world. Argentina, would not be far behind and disputed the supremacy with the Charruas. After losing the 1928 final at the 1928 Summer Olympics held in Amsterdam, Argentina would gain revenge in the 1929 South American Championship by defeating the Uruguayans in the last, decisive match. During this period, both Bolivia and Peru debuted in the tournament in 1927, respectively. After the first World Cup held in Uruguay in 1930, the enmity between the football federations of Uruguay and Argentina prevented the competition from being played for a number of years. Only in 1935 was it possible to dispute a special edition of the event to be reinstated in 1939.
Peru won the competition for the first time. Ecuador made their debut at that tournament. In 1941, Chile hosted that year's edition in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Santiago for which the capacity of the newly built Estadio Nacional was expanded from 30,000 to 70,000 spectators. Despite the large investment and initial success of the team, the Chileans would be defeated in the last match by eventual champions Argentina. Uruguay won the 1942 edition. Chile would host again in 1945, came close to playing for the title against Argentina. However, Brazil spoiled that possibility, Argentina would win the tournament once again on Chilean soil; the event entered a period of great disruption. The championship was not played on a regular basis and many editions would be deemed unofficial, only to be considered valid on by CONMEBOL. For example, Argentina would be the first team to win three consecutive titles by winning the championships of 1945, 1946 and 1947. After those three annual tournaments, the competition returned to being held every two years three and l
Udinese Calcio referred to as Udinese, is an Italian football club based in Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, that plays in Serie A. It was founded on 30 November 1896 as a sports club, on 5 July 1911 as a football club; the traditional team home kit is black and white striped shirt, black shorts, white socks. The club broadcasts on channel 110 on digital terrestrial television in north-east of Italy, it has a large number of fans in Friuli and surrounding areas. Udinese Calcio was established in 1896 as part of the Società Udinese di Ginnastica e Scherma. In its inaugural year, the club won the Torneo FNGI in Treviso beating Ferrara 2–0. On 5 July 1911, some gymnasts of Udinese, headed by Luigi Dal Dan, founded the A. C. Udinese, which joined the FIGC; the new side made its debut in a friendly match against Juventus Palmanova, won 6–0. It was only in 1912 -- 13. In that year they enrolled in the Campionato Veneto di Promozione, which consisted of just three teams. With two victories against Padova, Udinese finished the tournament in second place behind Petrarca and were promoted to first-level Prima Categoria.
In Prima Categoria, Udinese failed to reach the national stage, always knocked out in the Eliminatoria Veneta. The 1920–21 season, which ended with the Friulani eliminated in the Eliminatoria Veneta, was memorable because it was the debut of Gino Bellotto, still the player who has played the most seasons with Udinese, spending 17 seasons with the Zebrette. In 1922, taking advantage of the absence of big clubs, entered the FIGC Italian Football Championship and reached the Coppa Italia final losing 1–0 against Vado, thanks to an overtime goal. In the league, Udinese finished second in Girone Eliminatorio Veneto, which allowed them to remain in the top flight for the next season, despite a reform of the championships that reduced the number of teams in the competition; the 1922–23 season was a disastrous one for Udinese, as they came last in and were relegated to the second division. The team risked failure for debts in 1923. On 24 August 1923, AS Udinese separated from AC Udinese Friuli, the club was forced to set up a budget and an autonomous board.
All debts were paid by President Alessandro Del Torso through the sale of some of his paintings and Udinese could thus join the Second Division in which they came fourth. The 1924–25 season was memorable; the team was included in Group F II Division. The championship was even and at the end of the tournament three teams were in contention to win: Udinese and Olympia River. Playoffs were needed to determine. Udinese drew 1 -- 1 with Vicenza. In the play-off standings and Vicenza were still in the lead with 3 points each. Another play-off was played to determine the winner. After a first encounter finished 0–0, Udinese lost a replay 2–1 but were awarded the win as Vicenza fielded an ineligible player, a Hungarian called Horwart. Udinese reached the finals in place of Vicenza. In the final round, Udinese was promoted, alongside Parma, to First Division. In the following season, Udinese was relegated again. However, the format of the championship was again reformed and Udinese had another chance to reclaim their place in the top flight.
They competed in play-offs with seven other sides for the right to play in Serie A. The winner would remain in the top flight; the club, lost the playoff against Legnano and lost their place in the top flight. They remained in Second Division until the end of the 1928–29 season when Serie A and Serie B were created, with Udinese falling into the third tier; the first season in Terza Serie was a triumphant one and Udinese were promoted up to Serie B. The stay in Serie B lasted only two years, after the 1931–32 season, the team returned to the third division. Udinese remained in the third tier until 1938–39, when coming second in Girone Finale Nord di Serie C, they were promoted to Serie B; the Zebrette remained in Serie B for a dozen years, with average performances and were relegated to Serie C at the end of the 1947–48 season due to a reform of the championships. This relegation, was followed by two consecutive promotions, thanks to an excellent second-place finish in the Serie B 1949-50, the Friulani won a historic promotion to Serie A. Udinese remained in Serie A for five seasons and claimed an historic Scudetto in the 1954–55 season, when they came second only behind Milan.
It was after that season, that Udinese was relegated because of an offence committed on 31 May 1953, the last day of the championship, exposed two years later. The Friuliani returned to Serie A after one season in B and in the following season was confirmed among the best Italian teams with an excellent fourth-place finish. A decline followed those good seasons, with Udinese first relegated back down to Serie B in 1961–62 and to Serie C in 1963–64. Udinese remained in C for about fifteen years, it was only after the 1977–78 season that the Friuliani, led by manager Massimo Giacomini, returned to B winning Girone A. In the same season, they won the Coppa Italia Semiprofessionisti, beating Reggina and won the Anglo-Italian Cup. During the next season, Udinese with Massimo Giacomini as their manager, won Serie B and returned after more than two decades to Serie A. In their first year back after so long, the team survived after a disappointing 15th-place finish. In Europe, they far
Argentina the Argentine Republic, is a country located in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2, Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, the largest Spanish-speaking nation; the sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; the earliest recorded human presence in modern-day Argentina dates back to the Paleolithic period. The Inca Empire expanded to the northwest of the country in Pre-Columbian times; the country has its roots in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century.
Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish overseas viceroyalty founded in 1776. The declaration and fight for independence was followed by an extended civil war that lasted until 1861, culminating in the country's reorganization as a federation of provinces with Buenos Aires as its capital city; the country thereafter enjoyed relative peace and stability, with several waves of European immigration radically reshaping its cultural and demographic outlook. The almost-unparalleled increase in prosperity led to Argentina becoming the seventh wealthiest nation in the world by the early 20th century. Following the Great Depression in the 1930s, Argentina descended into political instability and economic decline that pushed it back into underdevelopment, though it remained among the fifteen richest countries for several decades. Following the death of President Juan Perón in 1974, his widow, Isabel Martínez de Perón, ascended to the presidency, she was overthrown in 1976 by a U.
S.-backed coup which installed a right-wing military dictatorship. The military government persecuted and murdered numerous political critics and leftists in the Dirty War, a period of state terrorism that lasted until the election of Raúl Alfonsín as President in 1983. Several of the junta's leaders were convicted of their crimes and sentenced to imprisonment. Argentina is a prominent regional power in the Southern Cone and Latin America, retains its historic status as a middle power in international affairs. Argentina has the second largest economy in South America, the third-largest in Latin America, membership in the G-15 and G-20 major economies, it is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organization, Union of South American Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Organization of Ibero-American States. Despite its history of economic instability, it ranks second highest in the Human Development Index in Latin America; the description of the country by the word Argentina has been found on a Venetian map in 1536.
In English the name "Argentina" comes from the Spanish language, however the naming itself is not Spanish, but Italian. Argentina means in Italian " of silver, silver coloured" borrowed from the Old French adjective argentine " of silver" > "silver coloured" mentioned in the 12th century. The French word argentine is the feminine form of argentin and derives from argent "silver" with the suffix -in; the Italian naming "Argentina" for the country implies Terra Argentina "land of silver" or Costa Argentina "coast of silver". In Italian, the adjective or the proper noun is used in an autonomous way as a substantive and replaces it and it is said l'Argentina; the name Argentina was first given by the Venetian and Genoese navigators, such as Giovanni Caboto. In Spanish and Portuguese, the words for "silver" are plata and prata and " of silver" is said plateado and prateado. Argentina was first associated with the silver mountains legend, widespread among the first European explorers of the La Plata Basin.
The first written use of the name in Spanish can be traced to La Argentina, a 1602 poem by Martín del Barco Centenera describing the region. Although "Argentina" was in common usage by the 18th century, the country was formally named "Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata" by the Spanish Empire, "United Provinces of the Río de la Plata" after independence; the 1826 constitution included the first use of the name "Argentine Republic" in legal documents. The name "Argentine Confederation" was commonly used and was formalized in the Argentine Constitution of 1853. In 1860 a presidential decree settled the country's name as "Argentine Republic", that year's constitutional amendment ruled all the names since 1810 as valid. In the English language the country was traditionally called "the Argentine", mimicking the typical Spanish usage la Argentina and resulting from a mistaken shortening of the fuller name'Argentine Republic'.'The Argentine' fell out of fashion during the mid-to-late 20th century, now the country is referred to as "Argentina".
In the Spanish language "Argentina" is feminine, taking the feminine article "La" as the i
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection