Celebration! Thousands line streets of Buenos Aires to give Argentina soccer champions a heroes welcome
The Sunday victory marked Argentina’s third World Cup, and its first since 1986 giving the South American country a triumph during a challenging time as the nation has faced economic downturn during the past decade with high inflation and poverty rates
December 20, 2022 9:14pm
Updated: February 3, 2023 8:08pm
In the streets of Argentine capital, Bueno Aires, thousands of soccer fans cheered and celebrated late Monday night, paying homage to the nation’s soccer team after declaring victory at the World Cup finals.
The Sunday victory marked Argentina’s third World Cup, and its first since 1986 giving the South American country a triumph during a challenging time as the nation has faced economic downturn during the past decade with high inflation and poverty rates.
Team leaders and star players such as Captain Lionel Messi descended from their plane outside the nearby metropolitan town of Ezeiza just before 3 a.m. on a red carpet.
The star player was the first to exit the plane, hoisting the World Cup on his shoulders side by side coach Lionel Scaloni.
The team was welcomed by cheering fans and rock band La Mosca, which sang “Muchachos,” lyrics written by a fan to an old tune that morphed into a viral anthem for Argentine fans cheering at the World Cup.
The South American soccer heroes joined in the chorus with their fans and boarded a bus, which transported them back to the base for the Argentine Football Association amid an ocean of fans. Police tried to keep the fans at bay as they followed the bus out onto a highway.
After an hour of creeping past blockades of fans, the bus arrived at its destination only seven miles from the airport. The players were greeted with fireworks that erupted into the dawn’s early light, and the players were able to get a short nap.
Tuesday morning the players left AFA headquarters for Obelisk, a famous Buenos Aires landmark surrounded by thousands of celebrating Argentines waving flags to welcome the champions home. The Obelisk became a landmark location during the World Cup championship for fans to congregate and cheer.
Many of the fans were able to take the day off from work after Argentine President Alberto Fernández declared Tuesday a national holiday.
Tuesday was the culmination of a perpetual celebration throughout the country as Argentines flooded the streets of cities across the nation to celebrate their team’s victory. Many waited in great anticipation of the arrival of their heroes, and media reports indicated as many as 200,000 were so excited they literally tracked the players’ flight home while watching perpetual live news coverage.
Before they landed in Argentina, several athletes gave their fans a preview by taking celebratory in flight pictures for social media. In one shot, Messi posed with the World Cup while Nicolás Tagliafico published a photo of the Cup with its own seat like it was another team member.
As the hours dragged on, an invasion swept the airport and the AFA headquarters in hopes of getting a glimpse of the team. Many fans were waiting for the team at the Obelisk and some spent the night to make sure they could secure an up close view of the players for their arrival.
When the players finally arrived, the celebration peaked and continued with relentless cheering.