‘Your life depends on whether Argentina win’: Buenos Aires is in a fever as Messi’s side take on France

meIn June, Thomas Cockles visited his family in his native Argentina from his home in New York. When the conversation turned to the upcoming World Cup, it brought back the happiest memories of his childhood. A wave of nostalgia for friends and food rocked him, but especially for his lifelong passion: soccer.

Therefore, he made a bold decision: he would sell all his things and return to Buenos Aires to watch the tournament. It was a choice that some might consider radical. But in this South American country where football can be said to be a spiritual experience, I felt like keeping faith.

“It’s one of the things I miss about living in the States, because it’s just not the same,” he said Foreman On the sidelines of a match with some friends in the clunky Colegiales neighborhood of Buenos Aires. It was Friday evening, every restaurant, café and bar was adorned with Argentine flags, and the TV screens showed a countdown clock in the corner: 39 hours, 21 minutes and 15 seconds until the game ended to end all matches.

“People [in the US] They are not as excited as they are here. When we were talking about the World Cup, I said, “I can’t miss the opportunity to be with my family and friends for this.” And his loyalty has been handsomely rewarded thus far: On Tuesday, Argentina beat Croatia 3-0 to record a place in the final of the tournament.

The excitement of the World Cup was evident in Buenos Aires from before kick-off. The works are decorated in blue and white. Electronic highway signs for traffic updates now read: “VAMOS ARGENTINA”. During team games, stores close, workers leave early, and university lectures are suspended. But this week, it has reached its peak.

Fans celebrated as Argentina stormed Croatia into the World Cup final – with video

After a shock 2-1 defeat against Saudi Arabia and a penalty shootout against the Netherlands, the latest victory for Skaloneta, as the team is affectionately called, has the Argentines finally hoping that superstar Lionel Messi will lead his side with all his might. Way.

After each match, an increasing number of fans flocked to the obelisk in the city center to celebrate. After the Netherlands, even a torrential summer storm wasn’t enough to dislodge the flag-waving revelers, who seemed to take it as Maradona’s tears of joy in heaven. After Croatia’s victory on Tuesday, impromptu parties erupted across town.

“I think people really need to celebrate,” said Alexis Bellany, 36, who is organizing Friday night’s matches at Estadio Colegiales. “We’re always in the news about bad stuff, politics and economics aren’t going in the direction you might want them to, and it’s been a long time since there was real cause for celebration.”

He has been playing soccer since he was a little kid. He is the proud owner of a large collection of football jerseys, which he beckons friends to bring in from all over the world. In addition to playing, he supports River Plate, holding tickets to the famous 2018 Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and River Plate – although he was eventually transferred to Madrid after mad River fans attacked Boca’s team bus. But he says all this doesn’t make him any more of a fan than the average Argentine.

“On the day of the quarter-finals with the Netherlands, I ended up with body aches, like you were working out too hard,” he said. “Because here you experience it almost as a kind of ego, patriotism, historical moment – your life depends on whether Argentina wins or loses.”

Victory would mean bringing football’s titles home for the first time since 1986, the year Maradona’s famous “By God” goal knocked England out of the quarter-finals. To say that Maradona is respected in Argentina is not an exaggeration: Argentina is home to the Maradona Church.

“It’s a moment when we are all equal.” Former professional soccer player Pablo Noya. Photograph: Leila Andrea/The Observer

Belani plans to watch the match at his parents’ house because it is Cabalahe says, using a word for the superstition Argentines develop as they watch the tournament. some Guess personal, but others climb to international fame. Maria Cristina Mariscotti, a 76-year-old woman from Buenos Aires, became a kabbalah after she started dancing in the street with fans in her neighborhood after matches. They spread quickly, adopting the “Abuela” chant [grandmother] la la la la! Mariscotti, though, has no grandchildren.

If it changes anything about how you watch a game and a team loses, this is it jack. Such as GuessThis could be anything – including, according to some, former President Mauricio Macri, who was in Qatar for the tournament.

Pablo Noya, 29, a sports journalist who used to play soccer professionally with JJ Urquiza and Deportivo Español, said soccer was a way for Argentines to escape from the problems of their daily lives. “It’s a moment where we are all equal,” he said. “There are people who don’t have anything, but with football they can celebrate… There is no social class, there are no economic problems. For me, that’s what football is about.”

And his greatest hope for Sunday? His cheerful smile says it all. He just doesn’t dare pronounce the C – even though he points out that it ends in HAMPION in English – because any Argentinean knows saying the quiet part out loud would be Plug

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