Crazy Celebrations in Argentina

Cheering Argentines - heartbroken French... Celebrations in Argentina, the third World Cup title was celebrated frenetically: After the nail-biter, there was no stopping the streets.

The French, on the other hand, were in a hangover mood. The President couldn’t do anything about that.

In Argentina, millions of people celebrated the title of their national team led by superstar Lionel Messi at the World Cup in Qatar. In the streets of the capital Buenos Aires and elsewhere in the South American country, they were already cheering the goals of Messi (23rd minute) and Ángel di Maria (36th) to make it 2-0 at half-time against France, as shown on television. After Gonzalo Montiel’s decisive goal to make it 4-2 on penalties, there was no stopping the joy.

“World champions! Messi’s Argentina touches the sky in Qatar,” wrote the Argentine newspaper La Nación. Fans in Buenos Aires gathered en masse around the obelisk. The area had already been closed to traffic, buses stopped running, shops closed earlier. Buenos Aires and other cities offered public viewing with large screens, and bars and restaurants offered special offers to watch football. Hopes for their first World Cup title since 1986 and their third overall were boosted after Argentina beat Croatia 3-0 in the semis.

Sporty triumph against permanent economic crisis

The tension was felt in every corner of the capital and across the football-mad country. The sporting triumph represents a ray of hope in Argentina’s permanent economic crisis with galloping inflation. Some also followed their superstition for success. Argentinian President Alberto Fernández watched the final at home. Behind this is a long tradition of Argentinian heads of state: after the South Americans lost 1-0 to Cameroon at the World Cup in Italy in 1990, they preferred to stay away from the Albiceleste’s games at a World Cup. The then President Carlos Menem was present at the defeat.

While there was celebration in Argentina, the French were in a hangover mood. President Emmanuel Macron patted Kylian Mbappé on the shoulder and offered him comfort, but the superstar continued to stare blankly at the night sky over Lusail Stadium. The offensive player was one of the outstanding players of the game with his three goals in the World Cup final against Argentina. But he missed his second world title with the Équipe Tricolore by 2:4 on penalties. The trophy for the top scorer at the World Cup in Qatar with eight goals was little consolation on Sunday.

Mbappé is disappointed

Mbappé accepted the congratulations from World Association President Gianni Infantino and the other officials around Macron with a petrified expression. All alone and a bit lost, he walked over the big winner’s podium, the golden shoe in his hand, and then posed for the obligatory photo. “The blues made us dream,” Macron wrote on Twitter. Mbappé was still heartbroken. After the penalty shoot-out he stood on the grass disappointed and frustrated for minutes, wiping his face again and again. He later sat down on the substitutes’ bench with his shirt pulled over his face to avoid seeing the Argentines celebrating around Messi. Neither coach Didier Deschamps nor his teammates could cheer up the Paris Saint-Germain striker.

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