Argentina football team airlifted as fans flooded onto the streets

06 February 2023

Argentina football team airlifted as fans flooded onto the streets

Argentina’s World Cup heroes had to leave an open-top bus parade in Buenos Aires as millions of delighted supporters filled the streets and brought the city to a stop. Lionel Messi and his teammates were flown into helicopters to complete the celebrations.

The supporters, estimated at over four million people, obstructed the road to the central Obelisco monument, preventing the winning players from reaching it.

Due to security concerns after social media footage showed fans trying to jump on the team’s bus under a bridge, the eight-hour journey was shortened. Players boarded helicopters from their parade bus.

“The world champions are flying over the entire route in helicopters because it became impossible to continue on land due to the explosion of joy,” presidential spokeswoman Gabriela Cerruti wrote on Twitter.

Television footage showed crowds waiting around the Obelisco and neighbouring highways to see the team.

The team arrived at Ezeiza airport early Tuesday. After Messi and his teammates won the World Cup, thousands waited with banners, flags, and flares at 3 am local time.

Millions gathered downtown Buenos Aires around midday, with key highways closed for the parade. Messi and Diego Maradona flags, instruments, lampposts and bus stop climbing were seen.

After the players flew off in helicopters, roads cleared, but some fans were upset.

Since Argentina’s thrilling final win over France in Qatar, the city has been in party mode, masking economic concerns in the South American nation with one of the world’s highest inflation rates.

The penalty shootout win made the country world champions for the third time and the first time since Maradona in 1986.

The government made Tuesday a national holiday to allow fans to celebrate the win.

“I celebrate how the people took to the streets to pay homage to our national team,” President Alberto Fernandez said in a post on Twitter. “Millions of Argentines in the streets, in an uncommon December, which will remain forever in our hearts.”

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