Lusail, Qatar – They leaped into the air. Their fists pumped in delight. Finally it was all over, and they had won. Gonzalo Montiel had just scored the decisive penalty for Argentina to defeat France in the dramatic final of the World Cup in Qatar and become champions once again after their last triumph in Mexico 36 years ago.
Waves of euphoria sweep through Lusail Stadium as La Albiceleste beat France in a dramatic final to become champions for a third time.
Tears of relief and joy as Messi lifts World Cup for Argentina
In the stands of packed Lusail Stadium on Sunday, those in blue and white screamed and hugged in an explosion of relief and jubilation. What had preceded were 120 minutes of nail biting normal time and extra-time action, which saw France twice come from behind to send the 3-3 deadlock into a penalty shootout.
“I can’t describe the feelings I have right now,” Argentina fan Pablo Ramirez told Al Jazeera with tears in his eyes shortly after captain Lionel Messi lifted the trophy.
“It’s the best day of my life,” said the 34-year-old, who made the journey to Qatar from Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires.
“Finally, we are champions again,” the businessman said. “It’s been too long. … I thought France would win after that comeback. I was shaking so much.”
He wasn’t the only one.
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni was also visibly emotional as he dedicated the victory to his parents.
“I cannot believe that we have suffered so much in a perfect game,” he told reporters after the final. “Unbelievable, but this team responds to everything.”
“I am proud of the work they did. With the blows we received today, this makes you emotional. I want to tell people to enjoy. It’s a historic moment for our country.”