Thousands of Argentine fans celebrate the triumph of the team in the World Cup in Qatar, on Sunday in Buenos Aires. AGUSTIN MARCARIAN (REUTERS)
Like a festive Stations of the Cross, hundreds of thousands of Argentines will accompany the winning team in Qatar on Tuesday in a long procession to the Obelisk.
The starting point will be the property that the AFA has in Ezeiza, minutes from the international airport.
Lionel Messi and his companions will arrive in Buenos Aires around 2:00 in the morning aboard a charter flight that has made a stopover in Rome.
After the break, they will get on a bus without a roof and with the World Cup in their hands they will travel the 30 kilometers to the Obelisk, the epicenter of the great celebrations of Buenos Aires.
The scale at the Obelisk was confirmed on Monday by the AFA.
It remains to be seen if there will be another one in the Casa Rosada, located about 10 blocks from there.
The president, Alberto Fernández, offered the balcony of the Government headquarters, the one from which Juan Domingo Perón spoke to the crowds gathered in the Plaza de Mayo, so that the Albiceleste players greet the fans.
The champion teams did the same in 1978 and 1986, but the political atmosphere this time is not the same.
In the first World Cup, the dictatorship of Jorge Rafael Videla did not give too many options.
In the second, Argentina had only three years of democracy and the Cup won in Mexico by Diego Maradona's team was interpreted as the symbol of a new country.
The president at the time, Raúl Alfonsín, left the balcony to the players and remained in the background.
This time, the political polarization is total and any gesture by the president can fan the fire.
Fernández even rejected an invitation from his French peer, Emmanuel Macron, to share a box in Qatar.
There is also the memory of the wake at the Casa Rosada de Maradona, on November 20, 2020, when an overflowing crowd jumped the perimeter fence and forced their way into the building.
I was able to do upa 🏆 pic.twitter.com/NxiSln1pWH
— Emi Martínez (@emimartinezz1) December 19, 2022
The final word will be with the players.
For the moment, they have concentrated on the return.
Before the game, they toured Doha aboard a bus, surrounded by the Argentines who hours before had filled the Lusail stadium.
Then they started back with the Cup on board.
They took care of her like a child.
Dibu Martínez uploaded a photo where he cradles her in his arms with the legend "I could make him upa", an allusion to Messi's harangue in the preview of the match against Brazil for the Copa América, where he recalled that the goalkeeper had been a father for the competition.
Messi also uploaded a photo of him with the Cup in hand, alone, sitting in the first class sector of the plane.
Nicolás Tagliafico had fun with the trophy protected by the seat belt.
— Nico Tagliafico (@nico_taglia) December 19, 2022
The tribute to the players will be a great challenge to security.
On Sunday, more than a million people gathered around the Obelisk, in the largest concentration in living memory.
When Messi and the Cup are there, the crowd can be even bigger.
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