In the wee hours of Tuesday, Argentina’s World Cup-winning team returned to a joyful Buenos Aires, where huge crowds lined the streets to welcome their victors home.
With the gold trophy held high, Captain Lionel Messi exited the aircraft first. His victorious team then followed him onto a red carpet at the airport, where they were met by media, officials, and a live band.
The moment the team bus left the airport, cheering fans wearing the blue and white colors of their country surrounded it. Videos show tens of thousands of people waving the Argentine flag and lighting firecrackers as the bus slowly moves along under a police escort.
The moment the team bus left the airport, cheering fans wearing the blue and white colors of their country surrounded it. Videos show tens of thousands of people waving the Argentine flag and lighting firecrackers as they surround the bus as it slowly moves ahead under a police escort.
As the crowd sang and danced, cheers filled the air. The players waved to their adoring fans while standing on the open top deck.
Following the team’s exciting penalty shootout triumph over France in Qatar on Sunday, hundreds of thousands of fans are anticipated to line the streets of the city later on Tuesday, which has been proclaimed a national holiday.
According to state media outlet Télam, the players will first spend the night at the Argentine Football Association’s practice facility.
Before the squad arrived, large crowds of fans camped overnight at the training facility, as shown in images of spectators pouring out of parked automobiles on the premises. While others lounged on picnic chairs near coolers, while people spread out on blankets on the grass.
Following Argentina’s thrilling victory over France, there have been several days of nonstop celebration in the nation and among fans abroad. The team’s eagerly anticipated return continues this trend.
In what has been hailed as the greatest World Cup final of all time, Messi and Kylian Mbappé faced battle on the field.
While Messi, 35, was playing in his final World Cup game and attempting to win the trophy that had eluded him for so long, Mbappé was representing France at the tournament in Russia and defending their victory from last year.
France came back in the second half to draw the game at 2-2 and force extra time after Argentina gained an early lead in the first half.
Messi’s second goal of the game gave his team the lead again, but Mbappé’s second penalty gave him his hat-trick and forced a penalty shootout, which Argentina won after France missed its first two attempts.
Following Argentina’s World Cup victory, hundreds of thousands of people thronged the city’s main 9 de Julio Avenue. Videos shared on social media showed happy supporters waving the Argentine flag while atop street poles, while others on the ground danced, sang, and chanted.
Argentina won their third World Cup with the victory in Doha, marking the nation’s first championship since 1986, when the illustrious Diego Maradona led the squad to victory in Mexico.
The victory on Sunday also represented a turning point for Argentina, which had previously lost three recent championship games, including the Copa America in 2015 and 2016 and the World Cup in 2014.
Due to those defeats, Messi briefly considered ending his international career. However, the nearly universal national outcry persuaded him to change his mind, and in 2021 he won the Copa América.
Messi has now solidified his place among the greatest soccer players of all time, along with Argentina’s Maradona and Brazil’s Pelé, after winning the World Cup.
“I cannot believe that we have suffered so much in a perfect game. Unbelievable, but this team responds to everything,” said Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni after the match Sunday, according to Reuters.
“I am proud of the work they did,” he added, fighting back tears as he was embraced by his players. “I want to tell people to enjoy, it’s a historic moment for our country.”