The Punch

Argentina receive heroic welcome after Copa triumph

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HUNDREDS of fans gathered in cities across Argentina Sunday to celebrate their team’s victorious return from the 2021 Copa America, where they beat Brazil on home turf.

The Argentinia­n Football Associatio­n had not planned any official celebratio­n given the coronaviru­s epidemic, which had caused the country to pull out of co-hosting the tournament, which then went to even worse-hit Brazil. Lionel Messi and his team arrived home in Buenos Aires

Sunday morning on a private flight from Rio de Janeiro, and submitted to coronaviru­s tests.

In two buses emblazoned with the words “Champions of America 2021” and the number 15 – for Argentina’s number of Copa America wins – the team was escorted from the airport by police as hundreds supporters gathered along the highway, waving and cheering.

“Beautiful, beautiful. And thank you, because the people needed it,” exclaimed one fan, Emilio Navarro.

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