Winnipeggers gather to see Argentina claim third title in intense men’s World Cup final

The World Cup match between Argentina and France on Sunday was a nail-biting finish to the international soccer tournament for fans across the globe, including here in Winnipeg.

In one of the wildest finals in the tournament’s 92-year history, Argentina beat France 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw to claim a third men’s World Cup title. The country won the title last in 1986.

Pablo Szajt was watching the game with his sons Sabestian and Ezi at Corrientes Argentine Pizzeria in the Exchange District on Sunday.

Inside the restaurant, a crowd of people wearing blue and white Argentina soccer jerseys burst into cheers as their team won the game.

“This is a relief. We were waiting for this for 36 years,” Pablo told CBC. “We were a better team [than France]. We have Messi.”

WATCH | Fans at Winnipeg viewing party celebrate Argentina’s World Cup win:

Argentina fans in Winnipeg react to historic World Cup win

3 hours ago

Duration 1:48

Fans at a private viewing party at Corrientes Argentine Pizzeria in Winnipeg react to the final goal securing the men’s World Cup for Argentina

The win prompted an emotional response from Pablo’s son, Ezi.

“I can say this because I haven’t gotten married or had kids yet, but this is the happiest day of my life,” Ezi said.

Alfonso Maury, owner of the pizzeria, said it was important to host a viewing party for the game, adding that soccer is more than just a sport in his home country.

“Soccer is a poor people’s sport,” he said. “You just need your will, your talent and your passion.”

Maury said he had a lot of confidence in the Argentinians.

“France is a great team, but I think we deserved to win.”

Meanwhile, different reactions were visible at a viewing party in Winnipeg’s La Crêperie Ker Breizh.

Emmanuel Perez, one attendee at the party, said penalty shots often lead to unpredictable ends.

“Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”

While his team lost, Perez said everyone had fun and is looking forward to France coming back stronger to the next World Cup.

“That was an amazing game.”

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