Advertisement

Airlift the only way out as millions turn up to cheer Messi’s magnificent men

Millions of ecstatic Argentines have flooded onto the streets of Buenos Aires to cheer the country’s World Cup-winning soccer squad led by Lionel Messi, with the heaving crowd bringing the open-top bus parade to a standstill.

Dec 21, 2022, updated Dec 21, 2022
The Argentine soccer team that won the World Cup title ride on an open bus during their homecoming parade in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

The Argentine soccer team that won the World Cup title ride on an open bus during their homecoming parade in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

The players were unable to reach the city’s central Obelisk monument as planned due to security concerns because of the size of the crowd – estimated by local media at four million people.

They were transferred from their parade bus to helicopters.

“The world champions are flying over the entire route in helicopters because it became impossible to continue on land due to the explosion of joy,” presidential spokeswoman Gabriela Cerruti wrote on Twitter.

Television images showed people all over the city trying to catch a glimpse of their returning champions.

“It’s crazy, it’s incredible, it’s the best thing that can happen to you in life,” 25-year-old metalworker Matias Gomez said.

“It is an enormous joy to see all these happy people, all together, one with the other, holding hands, giving each other hugs, kisses. We are all one today.”

The team had arrived in the early hours of Tuesday at Ezeiza airport.

Despite it being 3am local time, thousands were waiting with banners, flags and flares and howling with joy after Messi and his teammates ended the country’s 36-year wait to win the World Cup.

By around midday millions had congregated in downtown Buenos Aires, with major roads shut down.

The Argentine capital has been in party mode since the dramatic victory over France in Sunday’s final in Qatar, which has helped mask economic woes in the South American nation battling one of the world’s highest inflation rates.

InQueensland in your inbox. The best local news every workday at lunch time.
By signing up, you agree to our User Agreement andPrivacy Policy & Cookie Statement. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The penalty shootout victory made the country world champions for the first time since late icon Diego Maradona hoisted the trophy in 1986, and the third in total.

The government made Tuesday a national holiday to allow fans to celebrate.

As the open-top bus snaked through the city, players danced and cheered with fans who circled the vehicle.

Police were having to hold people back to allow the bus to move forward on its slow journey towards the centre of town.

But eventually they could go no further.

“They don’t let us get to greet all the people who were at the Obelisco. The security agents that escorted us won’t allow us to move forward,” tweeted Chiqui Tapia, president of the Argentine Football Association.

“A thousand apologies on behalf of all the champion players.”

Local News Matters
Advertisement
Copyright © 2024 InQueensland.
All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy