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South Florida's Argentina fans spill into the streets to cheer first World Cup win in decades

Argentina fans celebrate the 2022 World Cup final win in the North Beach neighborhood, Miami Beach.
Verónica Zaragovia
Argentina fans celebrate the 2022 World Cup final win in the North Beach neighborhood, Miami Beach.

There were wild celebrations across South Florida as Argentina won its third World Cup - beating France 4 to 2 in a nail-biting penalty shootout.

The North Beach neighborhood of Miami Beach had become a focal point for fans of La Albiceleste, who flooded the streets to mark each victory on the way to the historic triumph.

But on Sunday, after an exhilarating final dubbed an instant classic, the celebrations reached another level with blue and white-clad fans taking over the streets as far as the eye could see.

The last time Argentina won the men’s World Cup was in 1986.

Outside of the North Beach Bandshell and Manolo – the Argentine restaurant on 73rd Street – people waved flags and lifted World Cup trophy-replicas. They hugged, sang and danced into the night.

"For such a long time we’ve been waiting for this," said Victoria Allende, an Argentinian from Mendoza who was wearing the most popular jersey - that of superstar Lionel Messi.

"I'm so happy. We won, we won! Messi is the best in the whole world, I think we were all expecting this win, so we're super happy. Seeing the celebrations is so emotional, I love it!"

The entire beachfront portion of Miami-Dade County became a celebration for Argentina, as this stretch has many Argentine residents, restaurants and cafés.

Children, dogs, seniors — people of all ages wore national team jerseys and chanted songs about Argentina and Messi. Cars honked for hours all along Collins Avenue, from Miami Beach to Sunny Isles.

Renowned for their passionate and relentless singing at soccer games, the Argentina fans did not disappoint on Sunday as they expressed their love for the team. The most common song in the lips of the fans features the lines, "Everyday I love you more, I'm Argentinian, it's a feeling that I can't stop,"

In Key West, ecstatic crowds spilled into Duval Street to celebrate the victory.

Verónica Zaragovia was born in Cali, Colombia, and grew up in South Florida. She’s been a lifelong WLRN listener and is proud to cover health care, as well as Surfside and Miami Beach politics for the station. Contact Verónica at vzaragovia@wlrnnews.org
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