Fifa World Cup: 80-year-old fan reacts after Argentina’s magical performance

'I am very relieved and very, very happy,' Rafael said, as he gave a thumbs up to the team that bounced back after shock defeat to Saudi Arabia

By Rituraj Borkakoty in Doha

Published: Sun 27 Nov 2022, 6:33 AM

Among the thousands of Argentinian fans that were singing and dancing at the Lusail Iconic Stadium following the team’s 2-0 win over Mexico on Saturday, there was one man who could not break into a dance.

Neither did he have the voice amid the ear-splitting noise to sing for his team after Argentina’s impressive win in the make-or-break World Cup game.

But he was as happy as any of those Argentina fans on Saturday.

Rafael is his name. And if he could not dance like the other fans, it’s because he is now 80 years old.

Rafael’s face was brimming with joy and relief as Lionel Messi’s Argentina kept their World Cup hopes alive with a magical second-half performance.

“I was very nervous in the first half when they were struggling. Now I am very relieved and very, very happy,” Rafael told this reporter as he gave a thumbs up to the Argentina team that bounced back after the shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in the first game.


Rafael has come all the way from Sydney, Australia, where he has been living for the past 50 years.

“Nine out of 10,” he replied when I asked him to rate Messi’s performance against Mexico.

Messi scored a delightful goal in the 64th minute to give Argentina the lead before setting up Enzo Fernandez’s goal in the 87th minute of the contest.

Rafael believes Argentina will be now brimming with confidence and they have a chance of winning their third World Cup.

“Absolutely. I think they can go all the way now. I am saying this because now that they have won, they will be more relaxed. They can play even better now from the next game,” he said.

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