The glorious World Cup trophy has arrived in Argentina for the first time since 1986.
Thousands of fans surrounded Ezeiza International Airport in Argentina in the middle of the night to welcome the World Cup winners home, after an unforgettable battle on the football pitch in Doha.
At 2:40 a.m. local time (05:40 GMT) on Tuesday, the plane carrying the World Cup champions and their captain Lionel Messi back from Qatar touched down at Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza international airport.
After years of heartbreak, the country’s media and large crowds were waiting in anticipation of a victory parade that was scheduled for later that day.
“The world champion squad will leave on Tuesday at noon for the Obelisk to celebrate the world title with the fans,” Seleccion Argentina, the official account of the Argentina national team, tweeted on Monday.
The players will spend the night at the Argentine Football Association (AFA) training facility close to the airport after defeating France in the nail-biting final on Sunday.
Millions are anticipated to fill the streets on Tuesday at noon as they start a tour in the heart of Buenos Aires, which President Alberto Fernández declared a national holiday for the South American fans to “express their deepest joy” for their champion team.
The World Cup was raised in the air by Messi, who scored twice in the final game and took his team to a much-deserved victory. The player and the coach Lionel Scaloni exited the plane, passing a sign that read, “Thank you, champions,” as they walked.
The words “One team, One Country, One dream” were written on the side of a picture of Messi that was painted on the tail of the aircraft.
The rock group La Mosca performed the song Muchachos as they were welcomed by the players, which became the unofficial anthem for Argentina fans at the World Cup in Qatar.
The world’s newly crowned champions waited for everyone to board an open-top bus while singing along, then departed for the AFA headquarters.
Fans, many of whom were waving Argentina flags, swarmed the bus on a highway, trying to get a glimpse of the players as police attempted to keep them at bay.
On the football pitch
Messi finished second on the Qatar 2022 top scorer’s list, behind Kylian Mbappe of France, with seven goals this World Cup.
Argentina defeated France 4-2 in a thrilling game on Sunday, which saw a penalty shoot-out that ended what was arguably the greatest World Cup final of all time.
Les Bleus’ defeat to Argentina in the 2022 World Cup final concluded their bid to become the fourth country to win the World Cup three times, an achievement Argentina can now claim.
Argentina won its previous World Cup titles in 1978 and 1986.