The kinship between Bangladesh and Argentina
The World Cup brings together the entire world every four years. Billions of people from all over the globe come together to support their favourite teams, cheering them on from the sidelines. Such one country is Bangladesh, where its citizens become de facto Argentines, sporting the Albiceleste's colours and showing as much passion for the team, and its players as real Argentines do.
The people of Bangladesh have been supporting Argentina for well over two decades since the great Maradona era which really enhanced the fanbase here in Bangladesh. The love for Argentina's national team can be dated to a specific moment and location: On 22 June, 1986, in Mexico City's Estadio Azteca. In a triumph over England that day, Diego Maradona scored twice (the notorious "Hand of God" and a masterful dribble goal that is regarded as the best goal in tournament history), humiliating the creators of the modern game and cementing his legend.
It served as a reminder of how a smaller nation could drag a stronger one to its knees for former British colonies like Bangladesh. A bond was formed.
Since the dream of seeing Bangladesh play in the World Cup is comparable to a mirage in the desert, Bangladeshis have backed the Argentina football team and have supported them through times both good and bad.
Recently, this pursuit of epic fanfare has caught the eye of Argentines and their football team. They have acknowledged our confidence in them and have responded in kind. Notably, an entrepreneur named Matías Dell'Anno Irigoyen started an online petition back in 2018 on change.org for Argentina to play Bangladesh in a friendly football match to show their appreciation.
The other extraordinary side to this story is the people in Argentina have recently started to support the Bangladesh cricket team!
On the 4 December, Bangladesh played India which resulted in one of the most agonizingly nail-biting finishes with Mehedi Hasan Miraz holding his ground outstandingly and leading Bangladesh to victory with 1 wicket remaining. Fans in Bangladesh were obviously excited but the new fans in Argentina also were celebrating taking to the streets and chanting Bangladesh! Bangladesh!
This scene went off the charts on social media as people from Bangladesh were awestruck by this sudden boost in supporters.
This marks the start of a beautiful community, which may be divided by land and sea but united by the passionate and undying love for football. The bond we share is special and the support Bangladesh has for Argentina will never fade away.