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HomeSportIn Pictures: Lionel Messi fans overjoyed in South Asia after Argentina cruises...

In Pictures: Lionel Messi fans overjoyed in South Asia after Argentina cruises to FIFA World Cup final


Soccer fan Gazi Jahidul Haque was struggling to cover his concern earlier than the Argentina and Croatia World Cup semifinal at Qatar’s Lusail Stadium.

Haque was watching the sport in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

Additionally Learn | Messi World Cup magic: Pakistani neighbourhood goes mad for Argentina

“This World Cup isn’t solely vital for Argentina, but additionally for Messi,” 35-year-old lawyer Haque stated earlier than the sport, his voice barely audible as hundreds behind him thronged to look at the match in entrance of an enormous tv display screen on the College of Dhaka within the capital’s middle.

Bangladeshi followers watch Argentina’s 3-0 victory towards Croatia on an enormous display screen in Dhaka on December 14, 2022. 
| Photograph Credit score: AP

It was midnight Wednesday in Dhaka and by the point the ultimate whistle blew with Argentina beating Croatia 3-0, Haque’s worries had lengthy dissipated. Argentina was within the World Cup remaining, one win away from capturing the sport’s biggest prize.

The win meant Haque would get to see Messi — a participant broadly thought to be one of many recreation’s greatest – another time on the World Cup. The celebrations started.

Followers poured onto the streets in Dhaka waving Argentina flags and sporting the group’s sky blue and white jersey. Amid blaring trumpets, they chanted Messi’s identify and hugged one another. Some held bike rallies. Others broke into music and dance. A younger man rode on a rikshaw, his physique painted in Argentinian colours.

Argentina’s win was additionally celebrated in neighboring India, the place it’s cricket that’s usually worshipped with near-religious fervor.

In Kolkata metropolis, the place youngsters are additionally named after soccer gamers from earlier generations, Argentina followers marched in streets chanting songs for Messi’s group. It’s a metropolis the place murals of Messi adorn the partitions and Argentinian flags peek out of balconies with houses promoting their assist.

Indian fans of Argentina cheer on their team’s victory in the FIFA World Cup 2022 semifinal in Kolkata on December 14, 2022.

Indian followers of Argentina cheer on their group’s victory within the FIFA World Cup 2022 semifinal in Kolkata on December 14, 2022.
| Photograph Credit score: AP

Argentina has a legion of passionate tremendous followers in Bangladesh and India because the days of Maradona, one of many biggest to play the sport and an icon to followers world wide. Already, hundreds of them have traveled to Qatar to see Messi and his group play.

Seeing its group getting huge assist from the south Asian nation, Argentina’s soccer federation earlier this month praised Bangladeshis on social media.

“Thanks for supporting our group. You might be as loopy as we’re!” the federation stated in a Twitter publish with images exhibiting Bangladeshi followers sporting Argentina’s jersey.

Those that aren’t in Qatar are displaying their allegiance by following the video games with utmost devotion at dwelling.

In southern Kerala’s coastal cities and villages, the place flags of Argentina and Brazil are strung throughout retailers, buildings and flagpoles, individuals have erected enormous foam-board cutouts of their favourite gamers. Messi — and Brazil’s Neymar — are the favorites. In villages, open areas have been used for match screenings, with hundreds flocking to look at the video games on large screens.

Argentina fans celebrate the team’s victory in the semifinal against Croatia in Kochi, Kerala, on December 14, 2022. 

Argentina followers have a good time the group’s victory within the semifinal towards Croatia in Kochi, Kerala, on December 14, 2022. 
| Photograph Credit score: PTI

On Sunday, Argentina will meet with both France or Morocco within the remaining. The fervor would attain its peak in India, and Aditya Shriram is ready for a fairytale swan music for Messi.

Shriram, a 33-year-old digital marketer in New Delhi, has been supporting Argentina because the 1998 World Cup. On Sunday, he will probably be watching the ultimate with a bunch of almost two dozen pals he grew up with taking part in soccer within the Indian capital.

Shriram stated Sunday’s recreation can have Messi play to seal his legacy, contemplating the best of all time — Pele and Maradona — have each gained the World Cup, an accolade that had thus far evaded the Argentinian famous person.

“It’ll full him,” Shriram stated. “Until you win the World Cup, you possibly can’t be counted among the many absolute biggest of all time.”



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