Argentines party through the night while French fans clash with police

Fans celebrate Argentine winning the World Cup at the Obelisk in Buenos Aires last night (Picture: Getty)

There were jubilant scenes in Buenos Aires last night after Argentina won the World Cup final in Qatar.

Team captain Lionel Messi finally lifted the cup for his country after a tense match which ended up 3-3 at the final whistle and going to penalties.

It led to celebrations throughout the streets of the South American nation, which won its third World Cup title, and the first since 1986.

Millions of Argentines cried, yelled and hugged as they followed the game, which was a roller coaster of emotions as France kept appearing almost out of the game but then coming back to equalise.

Throughout the match, many watching in a public square in Buenos Aires chanted the name of Messi, often considered the world’s greatest soccer player who had long talked about how he yearned for a World Cup victory.

Fireworks over the Obelisk  in Buenos Aires last night

Fireworks over the Obelisk in Buenos Aires last night (Picture: AFP)
Fans hold up a flag marked with Lionel Messi’s shirt number 10 in Buenos Aires (Picture: Getty)
Thousands of fans gathered at the Obelisk in Buenos Aires lit up in the Argentinian flag (Picture: Getty)
Fans of Argentina react while watching the live broadcast in Buenos Aires (Picture: Getty)
Fans carry an Argentinian flag as they celebrate after Argentina’s victory against France (Picture: Getty)
Argentina fans celebrate in Buenos Aires after winning the World Cup (Picture: Reuters)
Argentina’s fans celebrate at the end of the World Cup final match between Argentina and France in Buenos Aires (Picture: AP)
A replica World Cup trophy is paraded in Buenos Aires (Picture: AP)
It is Argentina’s first World Cup victory since 1986 (Picture: AP)
A fan holds an Argentinian flag at the Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, yesterday (Picture: Reuters)

Josefina Villalba, a 55-year-old nanny who joined hundreds of fans at one of the many public plazas where giant screens were set up, said: ‘I’m very happy, we really deserved this. The team suffered quite a bit, but it recovered as time went on.’

But in France, scenes were less celebratory, with clashes with police.

Le Depeche reported that 227 people were arrested in France, including 47 in the Paris area.

They said that 14,000 police were deployed around the country in anticipation of unrest, following trouble after the quarter final against England and semi final against Morocco.

Police used tear gas on the Champs-Elysées in Paris after having bottles and fireworks thrown at them, while there were also clashes with police in Lyons, Nice, Bordeaux and Grenoble.

There were only around 6,000 France supporters watching the game in Qatar, but millions were packed into bars and cafes back home.

They included those watching on TV around Argentine, the stop on the Line 1 of the Paris Metro underground train system which had been renamed France for the day.

In Argentina, many became emotional at the win and what it represented.

‘I feel an immense happiness in my heart because this is the first World Cup I truly enjoy,’ Hector Quinteros, a 34-year-old security guard, said with tears in his eyes.

‘This always happens. They always make us suffer.’

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Fans of France celebrate victory after France defeated Morocco in the semi-final match

Fans of France celebrate victory after France defeated Morocco in the semi-final match (Picture: Getty)
Police officers in riot gear are pictured after the semi final against Morocco (Picture: Reuters)
Fans hold smoke flares as they celebrate France’s victory over Morocco in the Qatar 2022 World Cup semi-final on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on December 14 (Picture: Getty)

The country has been stuck in economic doldrums for years, now suffering one of the world’s highest inflation rates whie almost four in 10 live in poverty.

Maria Isabel Ayala, a 53-year-old hairdresser, said: ‘Suffering is something that is very Argentine. If we suffer, it’s because we truly feel it in our hearts.’

Many fans were quick to remember footballing legend Diego Maradona, who died two years ago, saying he had something to do with today’s victory.

Javier López, 18, said: ‘Diego sees everything from heaven, he wouldn’t have wanted Argentina to lose. The first cup without him and we won! Diego is always here, he’s eternal.’

In Rosario, Messi’s hometown, a sea of people went out into the streets to celebrate that their local hero had finally won a World Cup title.

People started arriving after Messi lifted the trophy and they were still holding strong into the evening.

“We’re champions, which is all we wanted, more than anything for (Messi) and for the whole team,” Santiago Ferraris, 25, said.

Alberto Czornenki, a 45-year-old retail worker, said as he joined the celebrations in a public square in Argentina’s capital: ‘We needed this, we needed this for all the things that we’re going through economically, politically, socially.

‘Our lives are full of suffering due to all that, that karma that we have, and this at least gives us some happiness. We’re then going to wake up to reality and we’re going to be in the same place, but with a different kind of enthusiasm.’

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