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It was Latin America’s victory



By: Diptayan Hazra

Argentina has won the FIFA World Cup for the third time, beating France by 4-2 on penalties. The start of the match saw goals by Lionel Messi and Di Maria, which put their side ahead but then came Mbappe, shattering the notion that Argentina would close out the win with the minimum of fuss. When there was play in extra time, Messi scored his 7th goal of the tournament. Finally, when the match went to penalties, Mbappe made the second ever hattrick in a final. Martinez, who has a great record of saving penalties, proved his mettle and saved Coman’s attempt, but his behaviour during the match has been questioned by others.

It was a big day for all Argentina fans around the globe as Lionel Messi and his brigade lifted the FIFA World Cup. This was a dream come true for the Argentine players. Messi finally got his first taste of World Cup glory after 16 years.

Argentina became the 1st South American team to win the FIFA World Cup in 20 years. Back in May, Mbappe was asked to pick five favourites for the World Cup during the interview. He first put France on his list and then he said “Argentina haven’t played games of great quality to reach the World Cup.” He also took a dig on South American football and said, “The advantage that we Europeans have is that we have high-level matches. Argentina and Brazil don’t have that level of competition in South America, the football is not as developed as in Europe that is why most recent World Cup winners have been Europeans.” It all changed after Sunday’s final when Mbappe was given a fitting reply by Messi’s men. Championing Latin American football is not merely the win of a particular country, rather it is a collective win of all third-world countries. Hence, Europe was thrashed for its overconfidence.

The end was a fairytale one for Argentina fans in Kolkata. As the city exploded in joy as Messi finally lifted the World Cup. The second goal by Di Maria flagged off wild celebrations across the city. Whether it was die-hard Messi supporters wrapped in Blue and White flags at special screenings or hundreds braving the chill to catch the match live across multiple giant screens put up across the city, the message was loud and clear that nothing gets Kolkata more excited than a Football World Cup final with Argentina in it.

Messi’s men seem to have driven the City of Joy berserk. Even after a week of Argentina lifting the World Cup, festivities do not seem to end in Bengal. The vendors of sweets and tea stall owners have offered specially designed sweets and subsided hot drinks in that order. The famous Rosogollas have decked up in Blue and White. Anima Masi, a tea seller at Bowbazar is selling her first 50 cups for free while another fellow tea vendor Sunita peddled free cups on Monday.

The Trinamool Congress leaders are still not sure whether the victory for Blue and White would fetch some extra points in the coming Panchayat polls. Some lesser leaders have already gone to town with the message that God continues to be kind to the Blue and White which are Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s favourite colours that are used in all state functions. Didi with a broken leg won in the 2021 Assembly elections and Messi won with his left leg and played his best in Qatar.