Argentina’s World Cup Winners Squad returned home to a jubilant Buenos Aires in the early hours of Tuesday morning, with huge crowds lining the streets and cheering for the champion’s return.
Captain Lionel Messi stepped off the plane first, holding up the golden trophy, followed by his winning team on the red carpet at the airport, greeted by reporters, officials and a live band.
When the team bus left the airport, it was immediately surrounded by cheering fans dressed in blue and white. Videos showed the bus slowly moving forward behind a police escort, surrounded by tens of thousands of people waving Argentine flags and setting off fireworks into the night.
The air was filled with cheers as the crowd sang and danced; the players, standing on the top deck, waved to their beloved supporters.
Hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to line the streets of the capital late on Tuesday, the day declared a national holiday, to parade the team’s victory following the penalty shootout victory. their suspense against France in Qatar on Sunday.
According to state media agency Télam, the team will spend the first night at the training ground of the Argentine Football Association.
Crowds of supporters camped out at the practice site on Monday before the team’s arrival, with photos showing fans spilling out of cars parked on its grounds. Some lay on blankets in the grass while others lounged on picnic chairs around the coolers.
The team’s much-anticipated comeback continued in days of nonstop celebration around the country and among fans abroad, following Argentina’s explosive victory over France.
Superstars Messi and Kylian Mbappé face off on the field, in a match that many call The greatest World Cup final of all time.
Mbappé is defending France’s 2018 championship at the tournament in Russia, while Messi, 35, is playing his final World Cup match, looking to claim the trophy that has pursued him for so long.
Argentina soon took the lead in the first half – but France came back spectacularly in the second, equalizing 2-2 and forcing the game into extra time.
Messi scored the second goal of the game to restore his team’s lead – but Mbappé scored the second to score a hat-trick and send the final to a penalty shootout, which ended ended with victory for Argentina after France missed two shots.
Hundreds of thousands of people poured into the streets of Buenos Aires after the victory at the World Cup, flooding the 9 de Julio avenue in the center. Videos on social media showed cheering fans climbing on street poles to wave the Argentine flag; Others on the ground dance, sing and chant to celebrate.
Victory in Doha was Argentina’s third World Cup title and the first since 1986, when the legendary Diego Maradona led the team to victory in Mexico.
Sunday’s win also marks a change in Argentina’s fortunes after three recent defeats in major finals – the 2014 World Cup and Copa America in 2015 and 2016.
Those defeats led Messi to at one point announce his retirement from international football – although an almost unanimous national outcry convinced him to turn back, before winning the Copa América. in 2021.
Now, with a World Cup win, Messi has cemented his status as one of the all-time greats alongside Maradona and Brazil’s Pelé.
“I can’t believe we suffered so much in a perfect match. It’s unbelievable, but this team has fulfilled everything,” Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said after Sunday’s game, according to Reuters.
“I’m proud of the work they’ve done,” he added, holding back tears as he was hugged and kissed by his players. “I want to tell people to enjoy, it’s a historic moment for our country.”