Argentina supporters celebrating in the stands during the World Cup semi-final match against Croatia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, on December 13, 2022.
Argentina supporters celebrating in the stands during the World Cup semi-final match against Croatia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, on December 13, 2022.Suman Chattopadhyay/IANS

Anxiety, uncertainty finally lead to euphoria for Argentinian fans in Qatar

Doha, December 19, 2022

They cried, shouted, danced, broke into song, waved to the camera and at times they went into a shell, shocked by what was happening on the football field.

Those were some of the spontaneous emotions and reactions of a number of fans who were seated beside me in the media box during the FIFA World Cup final match.

The same pattern of behaviour, feelings and emotions prevailed among the majority of fans as nearly 90,000 of them took part in the thrilling action and tried to be a part of it.

The most vociferous and more extrovert of the mediapersons were the Argentinians compared to the Europeans, and it was the South Americans who had the last laugh when the fourth penalty kick was scored to give their nation the third title.

The anxiety and uncertainty over the final outcome finally led to euphoria with La Albiceleste winning the title, adding to the one they won in 1986 and one previous to it in 1978.

Some cried, others hugged fellow countrymen while others went live from the media box and connected themselves with fans back in Argentina through their channels and social media pages.

High on passion, the emotions just followed as the match progressed. The fortunes-fluctuating match saw Lionel Messi of Argentina beat France 4-2 in penalties after the teams were tied 3-3 all at the end of extra time. Every goal gave them a glimmer of hope only to fade away every time an equalizer was scored.

"We were thrilled and celebrated each of the goals and were down when the game came to level terms, even going into penalties we were a little bit nervous, as you know penalty shootouts are always unpredictable and a lottery," said Daniela, a print media journalist from Argentina.

A young media professional, who is taking his baby steps in journalism, was also one of those who cried bitterly after France lost in the penalty shootout.

The twists and turns the six-goal thriller took brought out the sadness, joy and finally the euphoria of winning the trophy for the third time among the Argentinian mediapersons.

The media box was full of them, from print to television and from social media to website journalists, all trying to catch the eyeballs back home with their coverage.

Having travelled so far and having spent nearly a month to be part of the global showpiece event, the journey was worth the sacrifices of being away from home.

The Argentinians fans in the stands outnumbered the French supporters in the stands and in the media box it was the same case. The entire media contingent having links to La Albiceleste rose in unison and pumped their fist in the air, every time Lionel Messi scored and they were over the moon when Angel Di Maria gave the second goal to put them 2-0.

They were utterly pleased with the first half display by their team and were hoping that they would coast to an emphatic win going by the opening half show but the late goals by France took them into a pensive mood, with doubts hovering overhead whether they will fall at the finish or emerge triumphant.

During the 29-day football journey many a football fan will agree that the passion for the game is high among the South Americans and the Argentinean media, men and women and the fans displayed it on their sleeves with their emotions in the stands during the match and after the final whistle had been blown.

It was not only the journalists, who for a large part left their unbiased nature behind them to back their home country, but a large legion of Blue and White supporters who made many sacrifices to make the trip to Qatar for the football showpiece event.

They sang Muchachos, their unofficial World Cup anthem, the lyrics of which have references to Diego Maradona, Messi, World Cup heartbreaks, Copa America triumph, and hopes of a third World Cup, which finally happened on Sunday.

"Muchachos, Ahora Nos Volvimos a Ilusionar" (Boys, we have our hopes up again) was sung by Argentine fans and as well as by players alike the dressing room.

The song is an adapted version of the 2003 tune Muchachos by the Buenos Aires punk band -- La Mosca.

The lyrics have been rewritten by Argentina supporter Fernando Ramos. Translated into English, the song goes something like this:

I was born in Argentina

land of Diego and Lionel,

of the kids of Malvinas,

that I will never forget.

I can't explain it to you

because you won't understand

the finals we lost,

How many years have I mourned them

But that's over

because in the Maracana,

the final with the brazucas,

dad beat them again.

Boys, now we got excited again,

I want to win the third

I want to be world champion

and Diego, in the sky we can see him,

with Don Diego and with la Tota,

encouraging Lionel.


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