You’ve probably heard it if you’ve been watching Argentina in this World Cup. Indeed, you will have heard it numerous times. Their fans are constantly singing it. Their players as well. Muchachos, we’ve returned to delusion. We have hope again, boys. The song has been the soundtrack to their tournament, both in Qatar and in cities across Argentina, and it will reverberate louder than ever when they face reigning champions France in the final on Sunday at Lusail Stadium.
If you win, you will be heard both on and off the field. Most likely also inside the dressing room. It’s been that way after every game since Argentina’s Group C opener against Saudi Arabia, with a reported total of 40,000 Argentina fans traveling to Qatar, dominating the country’s arenas and offering deafening, colorful support to Lionel Messi and his teammates.
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Argentina inspired by World Cup anthem
Their adopted anthem is based on the song Muchachos, Esta Noche me emborracho (Boys, tonight I’m getting drunk), which was originally released in 2003 by La Mosca Tse-Tse, a nine-piece punk and reggae band from Buenos Aires that rose to prominence in the 1990s and decided to record an updated version ahead of the World Cup.
It is popular among the players, including Messi, who described it as his favorite football chant before the tournament. “He said ‘Muchachos,’ and he sang it,” Guillermo Novellis, La Mosca’s frontman, told Billboard magazine. “I mean, it’s like arriving in Rome and meeting the Pope.
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The anthem’s reception has astounded Novellis and his bandmates – “it’s something we never imagined,” he told America TV – but its success is due to its lyrics, which were written by an Argentinian fan named Fernando Romero and spread by chance. “It is a song that has been adapted for several years at many stadiums in Argentina,” Argentinian football journalist Gabriel Casazza tells FoxCric.
“Racing Club was the first to start singing it, and it had an immediate impact, so much so that fans from other clubs in Argentina made their versions.
“Of course, they don’t all have the same lyrics, but the one written for the national team is the most emotional of them all, and the World Cup happened to coincide with the song’s peak.” Romero, 30, was among the first to adopt the song at Racing Club, and he wrote the national team version after they defeated Brazil in last year’s Copa America final at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, ending a 28-year drought. When Argentina faced Bolivia in a subsequent World Cup qualifier, Romero hoped to perform the song with a group of friends inside Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires, but they were unable to get tickets, so they sang it outside the ground, where a television crew from TyC Sports spotted them and began filming.
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Lionel Messi seeks to emulate Diego Maradona
With its evocative opening line “In Argentina, I was born, the land of Diego and Lionel, of the children of the Falkland Islands, whom I will never forget,” Romero’s rendition quickly went viral. Novellis became aware of it, and after hearing Argentina’s players sign it after defeating Italy in the Finalissima at Wembley in June, he asked Romero to collaborate with La Mosca on an official release. My dream was for a group of friends to sing it, and that alone was a lot,” Romero said in an interview with Telenoche, one of many in Argentina since.
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When I heard some kids signing it in the street after the game against Australia, I became emotional. It’s the same when I hear it in the squares, at parties, and when the players sing. His lyrics put Diego Maradona, who inspired Argentina to their last World Cup triumph in 1986 and died in 2020 at the age of 60, side by side with the man now trying to emulate him, describing him as cheering Messi on “from the sky” alongside his father, “Don Diego”, and his mother, “La Tota”.
“I wanted to make a song that moved away from the constant comparison and competition that existed between Messi and Maradona for so long,” Romero explained. “We have both of them.” The lyrics also pay tribute to the young men who died during the 1982 Falkland War, as well as the agony of the finals Argentina had lost, both in the World Cup, in 1990 and 2014, and in the Copa America, in 2004, 2007, 2015, and 2016, before last year’s triumph over Brazil, which made them the “Daddy” over their old rivals once again, according to Romero’s lyrics.
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“They are components that have created a very strong emotional cocktail for the Argentine people, as well as a very significant gathering of supporters during the World Cup,” Casazza adds. Martin Mazur, an Argentine football journalist who is currently covering the team in Qatar, concurs. “The lyrics are not typical of a football chant because they were born on social media and went viral,” he tells FoxCric.
Argentina had catchy songs at the previous two World Cups, and this is no exception, but it is far more political and would probably get an A+ in storytelling for the way it is crafted. That is reflected in its popularity – the song’s YouTube video has over seven million views – but the question now is whether this national expression of hope, and of a country seeking to exorcise the ghosts of its past, will end with Messi imitating Maradona.
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