World Cup Homecoming Brings Argentina to a Halt
As Argentina’s national soccer team touched down in Buenos Aires on Tuesday after winning the World Cup, millions of Argentines flocked to greet the players. The government declared their homecoming a national holiday, and the team began a 50-mile victory parade through the capital.
The team toured the city on an open-top bus flanked by security guards, and players were seen beating drums and sipping viajeros, a local drink that combines Coca-Cola with Fernet, an Italian spirit, downed from a cutoff plastic bottle. So many people turned out to welcome the team around the obelisco, a downtown monument, that the caravan had to change course at the last minute because of security concerns.
The celebrations have been constant since Argentina won its third World Cup title on Sunday. The night of the victory, more than a million people streamed into Avenida 9 de Julio, in the heart of the capital, chanting songs, blaring car horns and setting off fireworks.
Here are scenes from what may be the biggest open-air party in Buenos Aires’s history.
— Ana Lankes
Credit…Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images
Trophy in hand, Lionel Messi led his team off the plane at Ezeiza International Airport, where they were greeted by a massive crowd of supporters.
The team’s bus drove from the airport to the Argentina Football Association training center in Ezeiza, in the Buenos Aires province.
Fans young and old sang in the streets before, during and after seeing the players’ bus drive by.
Lionel Messi, Rodrigo de Paul, Leandro Paredes, Lautaro Martínez and Julián Álvarez were among the players seen singing from the open-top bus that transported them to the training center.
Fans and players have adopted a song with lyrics modified by a fan, “Muchachos, Ahora Nos Volvimos a Ilusionar,” as the unofficial anthem of their World Cup run.
Fans cheered from the base to the peak of Buenos Aires’s iconic Obelisk.
The team’s official parade began in earnest on Tuesday with players again touring a 50-mile route through the city in buses.