Argentinians watching the final in Buenos Aires were hoping for a repeat of 1986 when Diego Maradona inspired his team-mates to World Cup glory against West Germany.
Instead the horrors of four years later at Italia ’90 were played out again. Another stalemate with Germany; the deadlock broken by a late goal – for the wrong team.
“I feel pain that my children couldn’t see Argentina crowned champions, but also emotion because we reached the final after 24 years,” said one woman wearing a spiky blue and white hat, and choking back tears.
At the outset Argentina were pinning their hopes on their one shining star – Lionel Messi. In fact it was spirited, committed team performances that carried them through – much more so than in previous tournaments.
“We gave the best that Argentina had, and for we Argentines to reach the final is a source of national pride, pride for our homeland,” a male supporter said.
Euronews correspondent in Buenos Aires, Andrea Rua Espada, said:
“Argentina may have missed out on the cup, but here it’s being experienced as a truly national celebration: once again the team rose to be among the world’s top two, and what’s more, it did so on the soil of its eternal rival, Brazil.”
Some went home disconsolate. Others had planned to party – and the result was not going to put them off as they danced in the streets.