As soon as the Gonzalo Montiel scored the decisive penalty confirming the sports world’s most coveted golden trophy goes to legend Messi’s Argentina, thousands of supporters went bonkers in Dhaka University’s TSC area.
Firecrackers, sounds of whistles and vuvuzela, honking of motorbike and car horns created a pandemonium in the area soon after the end of the game. The celebration began immediately after the match as the most of the supporters didn’t even wait for the presentation ceremony, others were glued to the television screen to see the game’s arguably greatest player Messi lifts the cup.
Thousands of fans--mostly donning Argentina jerseys -- were dancing, cheering, singing and some even crying. The deafening noise created in the area testifies the long wait of Argentina fans are just over after a nerve-racking 120 minutes of play followed by penalty shootout.
“I’ve been waiting for Argentina to win this cup since the heartbreak of 2002. That was the first World Cup I saw. I was an eight-year-old back then. My heart was broken when favourite Argentina were out of that World Cup. I don’t know what can be the most befitting way of celebrating this success,” said Mostafa Mohammad Tahan, a former DU student who came to TSC to watch the grand final with friends.
The wait for Swapan Mia, who has been selling tea in TSC area for 36 years, was longer.
“I’ve been waiting for Argentina to win the World Cup ever since Maradona won the title 1986. I’ve had my own struggles in my life, but tonight is the moment I can leave everything in the past,” Swapan Mia, who is fondly called ‘Swapan Mama’ by the students of the university, said. He said he forwent selling tea for 3 hours after Argentina lost to Saudi Arabia in their first World Cup match.
Within minutes, fans in droves with huge processions started to throng TSC roundabout from all the adjoining areas and residential halls turning the area into a human sea.
Earlier, thousands of Argentina supporters started to pour through the campus area much before the start of the match at local time 9:00pm. Two giant digital screens were set up in TSC and another in Mohsin Hall Ground to enable spectators watch the game under open sky.
Every time Argentina scored a goal or created a chance, the crowd erupted with deafening roar. The crowd were thunderstruck as Argentina conceded two goals within a minute and an equalizing third goal on 118th minute.
Nazmul Alam Nobin, a government official and a former DU student, said, “I couldn’t hold my tears back for ten minutes after the match as I have been waiting for this moment since 1990.”
Ragib Ahmed, a Madrasa student of Noakhali, was cheering after the match at the foot of iconic Raju Sculpture.
The 15-year-old said he traveled all the way to Dhaka to watch final match on giant screen with people.
Not only Argentina supporters, many fans of other teams also cheered Argentina’s victory.
Mansura Alam, a former student of DU, said, "I'm a staunch supporter of Germany, but today I was rooting for Argentina because of Messi. What can be the better farewell for the legend."
Althought the World Cup frenzy in Bangladesh is nothing new, the videos and pictures of wild celebration on Dhaka University area and other places in Bangladesh went viral in internet and created quite a stir in Argentina and elsewhere in the footballing world as the Qatar World Cup progressed.
Argentine people were awe-struck and media were abounding with stories of frenzied support La Albicelestes enjoy in a faraway South Asian country. In a token of respect to Bangladeshi fans, some Argentines reciprocated with opening a Facebook group supporting Bangladesh cricket team which now has nearly 200,000 members.
The crowd started to get thinner and some of the celebrating masses started to go home as night became darker, but many didn’t want to move even in two hours after the match ended.
“I would not go home tonight. How can I sleep after Messi and Argentina won this World Cup. We will party all night…,” said a Afsan Talukder, a businessman from Old Dhaka.