Millions of people crowded onto roads, highways, and overpasses Tuesday in a frantic attempt to see the national team that won one of the greatest World Cup finals of all time, forcing the abrupt cancellation of a parade to honor the Argentine World Cup champions.
The players had to get off the open-air bus that was taking them to Buenos Aires due to the crowd of joyous, flag-waving spectators and board helicopters instead of what the government dubbed an aerial parade flyover of the capital.
Gabriela Cerruti, the spokesman for President Alberto Fernández, said on social media that “the world champions are flying over the complete route on helicopters because it was impossible to continue by land owing to the explosion of people’s happiness.”
The helicopters flew over prominent locations in Buenos Aires where crowds of spectators had assembled before returning to the Argentine Football Association’s headquarters outside the city.
Claudio Tapia, the head of the football association, attributed the shift in strategy to law enforcement.
Tapia said on social media that “the same security organisms escorting us are not allowing us to proceed forward.” In the name of all the champion players, I sincerely apologize.
Before the overland procession was called off, the bus had been making its way through the crowds at a crawl for more than four hours.
After winning the nation’s third championship and first since 1986, team captain Lionel Messi and the rest of the players waved at the massive audience as they hoisted the World Cup trophy overhead.
While donning the team’s jersey, 23-year-old Brian Andreassi commented, “This is lunacy; it’s indescribable.” “Words are not necessary.”
The World Cup’s triumph and that of the Messi-led team have provided much-needed good news to a nation that has been mired in economic hardship for years, has one of the highest inflation rates in the world, and has a poverty rate of over 4 out of 10 citizens.
🤯 ¡¡LOCURA TOTAL EN ARGENTINA!!
😱 Así luce en estos momentos para celebrar el campeonato del mundo 🏆
🥳 Se estima que en las calles hay ¡4 MILLONES DE PERSONAS!
— Telemundo (@Telemundo) December 20, 2022