Ecstatic Argentines Prepare to Welcome World Cup Winners Today
World Cup-winning Argentina players including Lionel Messi are expected to fly into joyous celebrations in Buenos Aires this morning from Qatar where they survived a dramatic shootouts with France to win their third title.
The Albiceleste left Doha yesterday with the World Cup trophy in tow at 5am Argentina time and refuelled in Italian capital city Rome, before flying on to Ezeiza in Buenos Aires. They are expected to land at dawn this morning (Tuesday).
The picture posted by Messi, the best player of the tournament on social media site, Instagram, had amassed 11.8million likes one hour after being sent and is already the second-most liked photo in the website’s history.
Fernandez commented saying: ‘GOOD MORNING. Going like this we celebrate ALL TOGETHER.’
Meanwhile the disappointed France players became the last team to leave Qatar yesterday and were somehow confused over their plans agreed to go and greet their fans in central Paris.
French Sports Minister, Amelie Oudea-Castera, said the team planned to go to the Place de la Concorde in Paris after their plane touches down.
But within hours, the chief of France’s football federation (FFF), Noel Le Graet, contradicted the minister, saying the players just wanted to go home.
“When you don’t win you don’t feel like wandering down the Champs Elysees or anywhere else,” Le Graet told the BFMTV broadcaster, in reference to the glamorous avenue running from Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe.
However, the French Federation said Le Graet had returned earlier than the team and had not been aware of their decision to meet with the fans.
France coach Didier Deschamps rued the failure to become the first team in 60 years to retain the trophy.
“I don’t want to take any merit away from Argentina but there were lots and lots of emotions and it was cruel at the end because we were so close,” he said.
The captivating final rounded off one of the most controversial World Cups in history.
Qatari organisers had to face persistent questions about the country’s treatment of migrant workers and its laws on homosexuality.
Football’s world governing body FIFA said the tournament attracted more than 3.4 million spectators, making it one of the most watched ever.
The 1994 World Cup in the United States had the most spectators with more than 3.5 million. Brazil in 2014 also had more than 3.4 million spectators.
FIFA said more than one million visitors travelled to Qatar to watch the matches, matching predictions from the Gulf state that people would not be dissuaded by the negative publicity over its rights record.