Crossbar champions! Argentina’s jubilant winner climbs onto the gates to celebrate
Crossbar champions! Argentina’s jubilant winner climbs onto the goal to celebrate their first World Cup win since 1986… as Lionel Messi is tossed into the air by his teammates with the trophy – just like Diego Maradona was 36 years ago
Argentina’s players celebrated wildly on the pitch and provided one of the iconic World Cup images after beating France on penalties in the final.
Goals from Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria had given Argentina a 2-0 lead before two goals from Kylian Mbappe, barely a minute apart, leveled the game and sent it into extra time.
As it looked more likely that France would pick up a winner, Messi struck again. However, just minutes from time, France clawed out a penalty which Mbappe duly parried, ensuring he became the first player since Geoff Hurst to score a hat-trick in the World Cup final.
Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo De Paul and Paulo Dybala climbed onto one of the goal frames
Lionel Messi was held aloft with the trophy – echoing the images of Diego Maradona in 1986
Eventually, however, Argentina and Messi prevailed and contributed to the successes of 1978 and 1986, winning 4-2 on penalties.
Chaos reigned everywhere as the Argentinian players headed off in different directions after the decisive penalty, before all reuniting with friends and family for what was arguably the best party ever on the pitch.
The celebrations were then taken to the privacy of their dressing room, although the content was made public by various people present.
Reminiscent of the spirit of 1986 – not just in the way he carried the team at times, like Diego Maradona 36 years ago – Messi was carried aloft on various people’s shoulders and paraded across the pitch while claiming the most coveted prize held .
The three players led the mass of Argentine support behind that particular goal in more songs
The three enjoyed the admiration as they sat on the gate frame with thousands watching
Messi being held up brought back strong memories of Diego Maradona in exactly the same position 36 years ago
Messi secured football’s biggest prize on a dramatic night in Qatar, equaling the feats of Maradona and in the process securing his place alongside the late legend in the pantheon of true Argentine greats.
While Messi savored the praise of those holding him aloft, three of his team-mates took it upon themselves to climb onto one of the goal frames.
Leandro Parades, Rodrigo De Paul and Paulo Dybala sat atop one of the crossbars and reveled in the atmosphere before the full Argentine finish.
The photo showed them appearing to be leading the chants atop the goal frame – although the net had been removed, perhaps as a souvenir for the team to take to Buenos Aires. De Paul appeared to have part of it draped around his neck.
Kun Aguero – Lionel Messi’s best friend – held him up as he carried the Argentine legend around
The number of Argentine fans in the stadium far outnumbered the French fans as thousands of Argentines had traveled to Qatar for the tournament.
They led the raucous chants while the players laughed, danced and played on the field with their children as the World Cup circus began to unwind before their eyes.
Argentina’s entire squad is expected to return to the country as soon as possible to enjoy a parade through Buenos Aires. The flight from Qatar to Argentina takes about 21 hours.
After the game, an open-top bus parade took place on the streets of Lusail.
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