We are all rooting for the same team!
An account from a non-football fan, is that even possible?
I must say I’m not much of a football fan, or even a sports fan for that matter. You may be asking yourself: Why is she writing about a football championship then? I’ll try to explain myself. This is not just any championship, it’s the World Cup! But you already know that. Argentina has always been a football loving country and any Argentine is supposed to be a football fan, it is sort of unquestionable. So, every time the Argentine team plays, I’ll join my fellow citizens and actively root for Argentina.
Image credit: Argentina Patriotic Flag – Free image on Pixabay
But let me tell you a little more about Argentines and how they have come to be such emotional football fans. Football is deeply embedded in the national identity of Argentina and I’m sure we could say that it’s our national sport. Let me try and show you some of the reasons why this is so. First of all, football has been played in Argentina for over a century. As far as in 1867, the first formal and official football match in Argentina took place in Buenos Aires. This was just a few years after the sport was introduced by British immigrants that had arrived to work at the railway construction. Since then, the sport has grown in popularity, with countless amateur and professional teams throughout the country. Secondly, many of Argentina’s most beloved cultural icons are football players. We have a long history of famous world-renowned players. Legends like Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, and Gabriel Batistuta are revered not just for their sporting skills. These players have become symbols of national pride, representing the country on the world stage. Travelling around the world even in the most remote corners… when you say you’re from Argentina, you’ll unmistakably get back: “Argentina Maradona!” or “Argentina, Messi!”
Image credit: Maradona Diego Argentina – Free image on Pixabay
Image credit: Lionel Messi Football – Free image on Pixabay
Also, we must say football is not just a sport – it’s a way of life and an integral part of the nation’s identity. Every weekend, millions of football fans gather together in stadiums throughout the country to root for their favorite teams. And those who don’t go to the stadiums get together with friends and family and cheer and celebrate or suffer their team’s victories and setbacks. Mondays at the office or school are occasions for celebrating your team’s victory and also rubbing it in the face of the fans of the loosing team. Losers’ depression might last till the following weekend when a new opportunity for victory appears in the horizon. Elaborate conversations on reasons for winning or loosing with take place in households, workplaces or even in the shops or on the street with random strangers.
When our team is playing the world cup, it’s a totally different matter: We are all rooting for the same team! This brings huge sense of connection between us all and we’ll show it by wearing our colors proudly in almost any possible occasion. Argentine team t-shirts, flags, pins, face paint and memorabilia are sold at shops and on the streets by the millions. All shops windows will decorate for the occasion, firms and educational institutions will place screens to watch the matches. Homeowners will hang flags from their windows or balconies.
Image credit: Country Flag Argentina – Free image on Pixabay
That the world cup is here becomes and undeniable truth: light-blue and white adorn every street, corner and balcony in the city, and every match Argentina wins the momentum keeps growing and the colors keep expanding throughout all our territory.
Image credit: Portrait People Woman – Free photo on Pixabay
Every match played by Argentina, the whole country will stop in awe and watch. The hours previous to the match you’ll see small groups of people getting ready, walking on the streets with t-shirts, flags, or light-blue and white hats, wigs, and make-up.
Each person has their own superstition as to how, who with and where the match should be watched to ensure a triumph. We call these “cábala” and there are as many varieties as there are Argentine citizens. Some say that they must watch the match at home, others with the same exact group of friends as the previous successful match, some will wear a special garment, or use some kind of amulet or even eat a certain food, even sit a particular position. The sky is the limit to imagination on what it can be. Another common practice is to make a promise of something you are willing to do or not do if you team wins. It can be dyeing your hair a particular color, getting a tattoo, or not having your favorite food or drink for a period of time.
Winning the FIFA World Cup represented much more than a sporting triumph as it became a truly significant cultural event that brought the entire nation together. It is a matter of national pride highlighting Argentina’s passion for football and acknowledging the hard work, perseverance and dedication of the players and coaching staff.
Image credit: Football Abu Dhabi Uae – Free photo on Pixabay
The team that played in the 2022 world cup was extremely special: the best player in the world, along with the youngest coach to direct a national team, a group of experienced players who had their last chance at a world cup, along with a set of very young players who were participating for the first time and a goalkeeper that was already famous for his performance in the America Cup joined to light the passion of their fellow citizens. They played as a true team with courage, humility and respect and will forever be remembered for the emotions they have awoken among all Argentines.
Image credit: Soccer World Championship – Free image on Pixabay
This particular victory turned into a huge event that united the people throughout the country and bringing a sense of togetherness and community, breaking boundaries between generations, genders, and social groups. We are Argentine above all! The celebrations that followed the triumph lasted for hours and hours and fans from all over Argentina came together to cheer and celebrate as one. The streets of all the city of Buenos Aires, where I live, were filled with joyful people of all ages, wearing the team colors, and carrying flags, making noise, singing, jumping hugging each other as never seen before.
Image credit: Team Hug Friends – Free photo on Pixabay
Image credit: Pride Argentinian Flag – Free photo on Pixabay
It truly gives me goose pumps when I look back and think of those moments of communal celebrating that replicated throughout the country and all around the world wherever an Argentine could be found. Social Media were filled with videos and pictures of people in light-blue and white singing songs in unison all around the world. The feeling of euphoria was expressed with chants like “Vamos, vamos, Argentina…”, which roughly translates to “Let’s go, let’s go, Argentina” or “Soy de Argentina…”, which means “I am from Argentina”. And the one that could be heard in every corner: “Muchachos” by the group La Mosca Tse-Tse, which talks about how football fans regained hope on the possibility on winning a third world cup which had finally become true. This song was sung by players and fans alike during all the duration of the football tournament and very specially after the triumph.
After all, winning the World Cup is the ultimate achievement in international football. And when we Argentine’s celebrate, we do it ardently!
Why wouldn’t we? We got our third star on our t-shirt!!
Enjoying my content? Would you consider buying me a coffee? https://www.buymeacoffee.com/vkambo
Image credit: Virgi (article author)
 We call cábala a superstition we might have of doing things in certain ways or about carrying a certain object as amulet to ensure a good outcome in a particular situation.