BUENOS AIRES, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Its victory in the Davis Cup, for the first time in 62 participations, was the high point of Argentinean sport in 2016, orchestrated by tennis star Juan Martin Del Potro.
"Delpo" was elected the Argentinean athlete of the year, after returning from injury to win the Davis Cup and take the silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics after defeating two titans in Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, before losing to Andy Murray in the final.
However, Argentina's year was successful beyond the tennis courts at the Rio Olympics, with three gold medals and one silver.
This was the first time Argentina had scored three golds since London 1948.
The glory of standing atop the podium was shared between judoka Paula Pareto in the -48kg category, Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza in the Nacra 17 mixed sailing event and the male hockey team.
Rio also saw Argentina's largest Olympic delegation since London 1948, with 213 athletes making the Olmpics.
However, in the country's treasured football, Argentina suffered when it lost its fourth consecutive international final, losing the final of the Copa America Centenario to Chile on penalties.
This crisis led the country's talisman, Lionel Messi, to temporarily retire from the Albiceleste squad although he reversed his decision two months later.
There is still much to do for the team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. At the end of 2016, it languishes in fifth place in the South American qualifier rankings, which would only grant a play-off spot.
With six matches still to play, Brazil leads with 27 points, followed by Uruguay on 23, Ecuador and Chile on 20 and Argentina on 19. Colombia lingers close behind in sixth place with 18 points.
This series of lost finals, however, have led Argentina to wonder what will happen with its current generation of stars, mulling the end of their careers. Although Messi remains for now, questions surround the future of Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Javier Mascherano and Angel di Maria.
However, rising stars such as Paulo Dybala of Juventus and Lucas Pratto of Atletico Mineiro also bring a note of hope.
At the end of the year, another news shocked football fans when Carlos Tevez left Boca Juniors to join China's Shanghai Shenhua, where he will earn an eye-watering 760,000 U.S. dollars a week.
President Mauricio Macri himself lamented the departure of "Apache" but hoped that Tevez' skill and charisma could help improve relations between Argentina and China.