Argentina-Bangladesh: a Bollywood-like passion

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Argentina-Bangladesh: a Bollywood-like passion

Facing a giant screen, a multitude of supporters watch Argentina-Poland on a square enamelled with celestial and white. Suddenly, a cry of liberating joy rang out. Goals from Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez have just propelled Messi’s side into the round of 16. Fireworks explode and car horns blare through the streets.

On the images that circulate, showing the total euphoria of the fans, a detail calls out. It is dark when the match was played at 4 p.m. Argentine time, in the middle of summer. We are in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and it is 3 am.

An unexpected fervor

Since the start of the competition, on social networks, the videos and photos of Albiceleste supporters in this country of more than 160 million inhabitants, four times the population of Argentina, have fascinated. While a priori the two countries 17,000 km apart have nothing in common, the passion that the Asian country has for Argentina seems disproportionate.

“We started following the team in 1986, when Diego Armando Maradona won the World Cup in Mexico”

Muhammad Sobug, Bangladeshi author of viral videos on social networks

” This is not new “explains to the Argentine sports daily Ole Muhammad Sobug, author of some of the videos that went viral. “We started to follow the team (from Argentina, editor’s note) in 1986, when Diego Armando Maradona won the World Cup in Mexico. This love for the great Argentine figures has passed from generation to generation and the appearance of Messi has amplified it enormously. About 4 million people came out to celebrate the victory against Mexico.he says from Dhaka.

Four years after the end of the Falklands War, on June 22, 1986, the hand of God and Maradona’s goal against the English, which have become the footballing symbols of the emancipation of the countries of the south from the colonial powers, have become historical fact that unites Argentina and this part of the globe formerly colonized by the British Empire.

As the competition progressed, Argentinian fans, moved by their Bangladeshi counterparts, began to clamor for them to be let go. It’s done. “Thank you for your support of our team! They are as crazy as we are! », published the Argentine Federation on the official account of the selection. In the comments, Bangladeshis will publish hundreds of photos illustrating this passion in their country.

“It is a source of pride that a country like Bangladesh supports us. We will try to give the maximum”

Lionel Scaloni, Argentina coach

“The selection jersey has been transmitting for years a madness for the colors and the passion of Argentina. Before with Diego and now with Leo. It is a source of pride that a country like Bangladesh supports us. We will try to give the maximum. Thanks to the people of Bangladesh”Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni also said from Qatar on Friday.

India passionate too

The passion for Argentina does not stop at the borders of Bangladesh. It also extends to part of India. In Ichapur, near Calcutta, where there is also a huge statue of Maradona, it is impossible to miss the “House of Argentina”, entirely painted in celeste and white, in the middle of any neighborhood. Inside, also in the colors of Argentina, photos of Maradona and Messi decorate every wall. There, every June 24, Lionel Messi’s birthday, as well as for every match played by the Albiceleste, the street is cut off and the music blares as hundreds of people gather.

From Buenos Aires, the fans are unanimous. As they had already done in 2011 to play a friendly match against Nigeria, after the World Cup, it is necessary that Messi and his team go to Dhaka to reward the madness of their local supporters.

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