Argentines dance, cry and cheer in streets as World Cup winners return | Football News

BUENOS AIRES: Hundreds of thousands – millions by some estimates – of ecstatic Argentines took to the streets of Buenos Aires on Tuesday to cheer on the country’s World Cup-winning soccer team led by Lionel Messi after landing in their plane in the hours before dawn.
The team arrived in the early hours of the morning at Ezeiza airport where, although it was around 3 a.m. (0600 GMT), thousands of people were waiting with banners, flags and flares, and shouting of joy after 36 years since the country’s last victory in the World Cup.
By noon, hundreds of thousands of people had gathered in downtown Buenos Aires, with major roads closed for the parade. People held up banners of Messi and late icon Diego Maradonaplayed an instrument or climbed over lampposts or bus stops.
“It’s crazy, it’s amazing, it’s the best thing that can happen to you in life,” said Matias Gomez, 25, a steelworker.
“It’s a huge joy to see all these people happy, all together, with each other, holding hands, giving each other hugs, kisses. We are all one today.”
Argentina’s capital has been in party mode since a dramatic win over France in Sunday’s final in Qatar, which helped mask the South American nation’s economic woes as it struggles with one of the world’s highest inflation rates. raised in the world.
The win, in a penalty shootout after a whipsaw match, made the country the world champion for the first time since Diego Maradona lifted the trophy in 1986 and third overall. The government declared Tuesday a national holiday to allow fans to celebrate the victory.
The players, after spending a few hours at the Argentine Football Association (AFA) facility near the airport, left in an open-top bus with signs reading “World Champions” and three stars to mark the trio of country trophies.
Players danced and cheered as fans surrounded the bus. Police had to hold people back to allow the vehicle to proceed on its slow journey downtown.
Earlier, 35-year-old Messi, who has cemented his reputation as one of the greatest players in the world, posted a message on Instagram saying “Hello!” with a photo of him sleeping in his room at the AFA complex next to the gold trophy.
Messi said the final – where Argentina beat France 4-2 on penalties after a brilliant 3-3 draw after extra time – would be his last World Cup game, although he intends to play a few more games for the national team.
At times, it felt like the whole country was partying the night away starting Sunday in the Southern Hemisphere summer, with the joy of victory infecting everyone with cars regularly honking their horns in celebration.
“There are people lying on the ground who came straight from the last party to get up and keep celebrating,” said Elio Maisares, 25, as he celebrated in the city where everything and everything was. covered with the white and blue of the “Albiceleste”.
“Look at all this, look at all that is painted in light blue and white. Along the roads, the highways, everyone is supporting Argentina,” he said.
“It’s really impressive, it’s unique, what a way to cry. I cried this morning, yesterday, the day before yesterday, I can’t cry anymore, it’s incredible!”


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