Huge crowds greet the Argentine team after the World Cup victory

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – Thousands of fans queued up in the middle of the night to catch a glimpse of the Argentina soccer team, which won one of the biggest World Cup finals ever, ahead of a scheduled day of celebrations in Buenos Aires.

The members of the team, led by captain Lionel Messi, beamed as they stepped off the plane just before 3am on Tuesday in Ezeiza, just outside the Argentine capital, onto a red carpet that had been rolled out for the squad.

Messi was the first player off the plane with the World Cup, flanked by coach Lionel Scaloni, who put his arm around the captain as they passed a sign that read ‘Thank you, champions’.

The players were greeted by rock band La Mosca with “Muchachos,” a song written by a fan based on an old song by the band that became a popular unofficial anthem for Argentinian fans at the World Cup in Qatar.

The newly crowned world champions boarded an open top bus and several, including Messi, chanted the words to “Muchachos” as they waited for everyone to board to head to the Argentine Football Federation’s headquarters.

The bus moved at a snail’s pace as fans, many waving Argentinian flags, swarmed the bus on a highway, eager to get a glimpse of the players while police officers tried to keep them at bay.

Throughout the trip, Messi stuck to the World Cup while players waved to fans and often sang along.

The bus took about an hour to make the seven-mile journey from the airport to AFA headquarters, where the players were greeted with fireworks.

They will sleep a few hours at AFA headquarters before boarding the bus later Tuesday to the Obelisk, the Buenos Aires landmark that was a sea of ​​people on Sunday afternoon after winning the country’s third World Cup and first since 1986.

President Alberto Fernández declared Tuesday a national holiday so the country could celebrate the victory.

The day after, the streets of Argentina turned into huge parties After Sunday’s win, many followed the flight that brought the players home to celebrate. As the plane approached Argentine soil, nearly 200,000 people followed its route online and news channels reported live on the arrival.

In the afternoon, people started arriving at the airport and in front of AFA headquarters hoping to catch a glimpse of the team.

Many were already at the Obelisk, apparently willing to spend the night there in order to secure a prime location for Tuesday’s celebrations.

Several players have posted photos from the plane ride on social media.

Messi held the World Cup on a plane. Nicolás Tagliafico, meanwhile, posted a photo of the World Cup strapped into an airplane seat as if it were just another passenger.

As of early Tuesday morning, there were no official plans for Fernández or other political leaders to attend the celebrations, despite earlier rumors that the players would be going to the government building, which Security Minister Aníbal said was being offered for the celebrations, according to Fernández.

The World Cup and the success of Messi’s squad have brought much-needed good news to a country that has been in an economic doldrums for years, suffers from one of the highest rates of inflation in the world and where nearly four in ten people live in poverty.

Fernández retweeted several messages of congratulations on the World Cup victory from other world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Thank you for this greeting, President Putin,” Fernández wrote on Twitter after a phone call with the Russian leader. “The happiness that today connects Argentina with so many countries in the world is an example: our societies need unity and peace.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *