Benito has just turned nine and people gathered in a children’s room in Buenos Aires surround him to sing to him. “Give it, give it to champion!” shouted those present. With Lionel Messi’s shirt number 10 on his back, Benito has yet to blow out the candles on a cake. Lift off the world championship first.
Celebrating in the middle of the southern summer in January could be sad for kids who have birthdays in the middle of the year-end holidays. But a month after Argentina’s victory at the World Cup in Qatar, there is little sadness in the country of the champions. The Argentines are still enjoying their victory over France on December 18th.
“I’d love to lift the trophy one day,” Benito says after blowing out the candles on his cake, a soccer ball. “That was my best birthday ever.” Birthdays that mimic Argentine players’ celebrations with the World Cup have become a trend in Argentina. Boys and girls from all over the country and even 78-year-old men have made it in the past few weeks. In A video that went viral on Tuesdayan elderly man surrounded by his family also raises the trophy in a black cloak, mimicking the traditional bisht from the Arab world worn by Messi when he lifted the trophy in Qatar.
The World Cup euphoria has not only captured birthdays. The beaches are covered in commemorative tattoos and towels with players’ faces on them. Parties, barbecues and many street meetings cannot end without singing the World Cup anthem that has toured the world: “Guys, now we’re excited again”. And on the street, amid the heatwaves that have ravaged Buenos Aires, many people still choose to wear the Argentina team’s jersey. Some are already wearing those that commemorate last December’s victory with the three World Cup stars. And there’s no taboo on wearing a fake: Adidas, the brand that clothes the Argentina team, released the official garment on December 26 and only sells it on its online store, although it’s sold out today and the first batch was sold in just three hours. At 22,999 pesos – about $125 at the official exchange rate – the world champion’s shirt costs a third of the minimum wage. But a trout can be found on almost every corner for 10% of the price of the original.
Lionel Messi’s face was traced on January 15, 2023 on a corn plantation in Los Cóndores, on the outskirts of Córdoba. AGUSTIN MARCARIAN (Portal)
“What a beautiful madness that we are going through all this time that we ended up winning the trophy that we all wanted so badly,” wrote Lionel Messi on his Instagram account this Wednesday to commemorate the win . “Thank God for so much. As I said, I knew you would give it to me, said the Argentine captain. “What I couldn’t imagine was after I achieved it and I wasn’t wrong because I could never have imagined the madness of the people at the celebrations.”
Millions of Argentines paralyzed the city of Buenos Aires for two days after the World Cup victory. It was an atypical December for the Argentine capital, used to easing tensions from the ongoing economic crisis at the end of the year: since the December 2001 corralito, the beginning of summer is the moment when unions demand adjustments to adjust wages to inflation and the luckiest receive bonuses or prepare vacations by increasing their spending. While the government just announced in mid-January the buyback of more than $1,000 million in foreign debt to stop the bleeding between the official dollar and the dollar sold on the streets, the foreseeable clash has yet to materialize.
The country expects a return to normal in February when the holidays are over, with the highest inflation since 1991 – 94.8% in 2022 – an open war over judicial reform between the government and the judiciary and the start of the election campaign for the Parliamentary elections in October this year.
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