Argentina and Lionel Messi have returned home to a hero’s welcome and stunning scenes in Buenos Aires after their World Cup success.
Messi led Argentina to their first World Cup win since 1986 in Qatar, as they beat France in a penalty shootout after an absolutely thrilling final that finished 3-3.
The result banished the demons of lost finals in 1990 and 2014 and, in many people’s views, cemented Messi’s status as the greatest player of all time.
It caused some incredible celebrations across Argentina on the day of the final, with Buenos Aires essentially in party mode since the final whistle.
Those fans got a chance to hail their heroes in person on Tuesday though as they team returned home and took an open-top bus to the Obeliso monument in the centre of the city.
The day has been declared a national holiday in Argentina so as many people as possibly can join the celebrations. Some reports had the number of people on the streets being over a million.
As the players disembarked from the plane, rock band La Mosca sang Muchachos, which was adopted as the national team’s anthem with lyrics about Messi ending 36 years of World Cup hurt.
“It’s just crazy that it became a reality this way”, Messi said after the final on Sunday, in which he scored twice.
“I craved for this so much. I knew God would bring this gift to me. I had the feeling that this was the one.”