Argentina’s national icon Lionel Messi spurred the team to a 3-0 victory over Croatia in Qatar on Tuesday, bringing them to the World Cup final, and the nation erupted in song and delight.
Pensioner Pablo Cardozo, 74, screamed, “We won! I love you Argentina,” in front of a television while younger diners applauded him.
Many of the patrons in the café sprang up and started singing Argentina’s popular World Cup song, “Muchachos, Ahora nos volvimos an illusionary,” by the ska group La Mosca, which translates to “Ladies, now we get thrilled again.”
With each of Argentina’s three goals—a Messi penalty, a brace from teenage striker Julian Alvarez, the second of which came after a crazy run by his captain and the team’s talisman—Cardozo yelled himself nearly speechless.
Emilia Salvo, 23, screamed, “I love Julian!” while Gabriela Perdiguez, 26, said, “I can’t take any more of this thrill, it’s a dream!”
In the Barrio Clinicas neighborhood near the university, students had a party.
Delfina Yacoy, a 22-year-old medical student, was among those who praised Alvarez’s effort but also noted that “it was a really tough match, they are two wonderful teams.”
Clara Cerdeira, 20, a different student watching the match on an outside screen at a pizza patio, commented, “This seemed tougher than prior times, Croatia having just knocked out Brazil.”
Center-back partnership “Nico Otamendi and Cuti (Cristian) Romero are two lions,” according to 24-year-old supermarket clerk Rodrigo Saracino, who was watching the game on the patio of an ice cream store.
Huge crowds of spectators gathered around enormous screens all throughout the nation to watch the game and let their emotions run wild.
Thousands of people arrived at the well-liked Punta Mogotes beach in the southern Mar del Plata beachfront resort, Emiliano Martinez’s home, waving flags and miniature harlequin hats.
Of course, the most love was reserved for Messi, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner who has accomplished practically everything in the game excluding imitating his predecessor as Argentina’s idol, Diego Maradona, who led the South Americans to World Cup victory in 1986.
“Fans now love Messi. He is a highly likable individual who has demonstrated leadership, carried the squad, “Felipe Pigna, a historian, according to AFP.
Messi’s snarky “fool, go lost” remark to Dutch attacker Wout Weghorst during Argentina’s thrilling quarterfinal penalty shootout triumph against the Netherlands has already appeared on mugs, T-shirts, and other souvenirs.
The Argentine fans “enjoy that spiciness so much,” Pigna continued.