Qatar 2022 World Cup winner Argentina returns home to a jubilant Buenos Aires



CNN

Argentina’s World Cup-winning squad arrived at its home in Buenos Aires early Tuesday morning, with crowds filling the streets cheering for the return of their champion.

First, Captain Lionel Messi got off the plane holding the golden trophy, then his victorious team was greeted at the airport on the red carpet by reporters, officials and a live band.

As soon as the team bus left the airport, it was immediately filled with cheering fans dressed in the national colors blue and white. Videos show the bus slowly making its way behind a police escort, surrounded by tens of thousands of people waving the Argentine flag and throwing fireworks at night.

The air filled with cheers as the crowd sang and danced; The players standing on the open deck waved to their loving fans.

The Argentine football team is surrounded by cheering fans on a bus in Buenos Aires on December 20.

Hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to fill the streets of the capital on Tuesday, which has been declared a national holiday for the team’s victory parade after their exciting win in the penalty shoot-out against France in Qatar on Sunday.

According to the state media agency Télam, the team will spend the night first on the training ground of the Argentine Football Federation.

Before the team’s arrival on Monday, crowds of supporters had camped at the training ground, and there were photos showing fans overflowing from parked cars. Some lay on blankets on the lawn, while others lay on picnic chairs around the coolers.

The team’s highly anticipated return continues several days of nonstop celebrations among fans across the country and overseas following Argentina’s explosive victory over France.

Lionel Messi leads the Argentine team, which got off the plane in Buenos Aires on December 20.

Argentine players waving from the top of the bus after arriving in Buenos Aires.

Superstars Messi and Kylian Mbappé faced off on the pitch in what has been dubbed the greatest World Cup final of all time.

Mbappé defended France’s 2018 win at the tournament in Russia, while Messi, 35, is playing in his last game of the World Cup and was looking to scoop up the trophy he had long missed.

Argentina took an early lead in the first half – but France roared in the second half and reached a 2-2 draw that forced the game into overtime.

Fans gather in front of the training ground of the Argentine Football Federation before the arrival of the team.

Argentina fans wave a flag in front of the men's national team training ground before arriving in Buenos Aires.

Messi scored his second goal of the match to reclaim his team’s lead – but Mbappé scored a second penalty hat-trick and led the final to a penalty shootout, resulting in a victory for Argentina after France missed two shots.

After the World Cup victory, hundreds of thousands of people poured into the streets of Buenos Aires, flooding the central 9 de Julio Avenue. Social media videos showed enthusiastic fans climbing the poles to fly the Argentinean flag; others on the ground danced, sang, and sang in celebration.

The victory in Doha was Argentina’s third World Cup win and the first since 1986 when legendary Diego Maradona led the team to victory in Mexico.

Sunday’s win also marked a change in Argentina’s fate after three defeats in the grand finals – the 2014 World Cup and the Copa America in 2015 and 2016.

Fans gather in Buenos Aires on December 19.

These losses caused Messi to at some point announce that he was quitting international football – but almost unanimous national protest convinced him to back off before winning the Copa América in 2021.

Now with the World Cup also under his belt, Messi cemented his status as one of the greatest football players of all time alongside Maradona and Brazilian Pelé.

“I can’t believe we’ve suffered so much in a great game. Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said after Sunday’s game, “It’s unbelievable, but this team is responding to everything.”

“I’m proud of the work they do,” she added, unable to hold back her tears as she was embraced by her players. “I want to tell people to have fun, this is a historic moment for our country,” he said.

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