World Cup Homecoming Brings Argentina to a Halt

When the Argentina national football team arrived in Buenos Aires on Tuesday after winning the World Cup, millions of Argentines flocked to greet the players. The government declared their return home 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 escorted by a security guard, and the players were seen beating drums and sipping viajeros, a local Coca-Cola fusion drink. with Fernet, an Italian brandy, poured from a cut plastic bottle. According to local media, so many Argentines came to greet the team, at least four million, that the parade had to be stopped early because the streets were so crowded. Several fans threw themselves off the bridge to try to board an open-top bus carrying the players, and one supporter died after falling from the monument in the city center during celebrations on Sunday night .

Instead, the tour ended with the group members flying around the city by helicopter. Celebrations have been ongoing since Sunday, when Argentina won the World Cup for the third time. Victory night, more than a million people flocked to Avenida 9 de Julio, in the heart of the capital, chanting songs, honking car horns and setting off fireworks.

Here are scenes from what may have been the largest outdoor party in the history of Buenos Aires.

— Ana Lankes

Lionel Messi and his teammates rode an open-top bus towards Obelisk, and at every step they were surrounded by thousands of fans.

Millions of fans crippled Buenos Aires, forcing some changes to the parade route and the team eventually having to abandon it.

National team members took turns holding trophies as they sang, drank and waved flags throughout the parade.

Millions of people celebrated in Buenos Aires after the Argentina national team won the World Cup for the third time.

Leandro Paredes holds up the World Cup trophy as he and his teammates sing along with supporters along the parade route.

The Obelisk in central Buenos Aires, which celebrates the city’s founding, was so packed with fans that the parade organizers had to change at the last minute.

Fans around Obelisk climbed onto everything that could hold them, including street lights and awnings above the bus stop.

Sitting in the back of the bus, Lionel Messi and his teammates began their journey from the Ezeiza training center to downtown Buenos Aires just before noon on Tuesday.

Accompanied by trumpets, drums or sometimes nothing at all, Argentina’s supporters have been singing since the start of Sunday’s final.

The image of Messi next to the Argentine football legend Diego Maradona has spread throughout the capital.

The caravan moved slowly through the packed crowd almost from the start. Local media estimated at least four million people took to the streets to celebrate the team’s victory.

The large crowd forced the team to abandon the parade route; Instead, the player is allowed to board a helicopter to fly over Obelisk.

With the trophy in hand, Messi led his team off the plane at Ezeiza International Airport, where crowds of fans greeted them.

The team bus runs from the airport to the Argentine Football Association’s training center in Ezeiza, Buenos Aires Province.

Fans young and old sang in the streets before, during and after the players’ bus passed.

Flags waved, crowds and the Argentina national team sang, as the truck carrying the team slowly moved through the parade.

Lionel Messi, Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes, Lautaro Martínez and Julián Álvarez were among the players seen singing from the convertible bus carrying them to the training centre.

Fans cheer from base to top of the iconic Obelisk in Buenos Aires.

The team’s official parade kicked off in earnest on Tuesday with players taking a 50-mile route through the city by bus.


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