Argentina and Bangladesh: two nations united by football

Photo: Firoz Ahmed

The FIFA World Cup fever has gripped the world with excitement and Bangladesh is not an exception. The greatest show on earth brings our people together unlike anything else and creates a festive mood all over the country.

While people here support various teams on the occasion, most Bangladeshi fans are seen supporting either Brazil or Argentina. These two nations have made a special place in our hearts through their footballing success.

Bangladeshi Argentina fans, however, have managed to get the world's attention by showing their passion for Argentina during the World Cup this year. While many already knew about Argentina's massive fan base in Bangladesh, this may be the first time people all around the world took notice of it.

It all started after the official FIFA Twitter account shared a video of Bangladeshi fans wildly celebrating Messi's goal against Mexico in the World Cup group stage. The video quickly went viral and former England and Barcelona forward Gary Lineker even replied to the video saying, "Fantastic."

After the video went viral, the story of Bangladesh and Argentina snowballed into a trending topic on the internet. More pictures and videos of Bangladeshi people wearing Argentina jerseys, hoisting flags, going to rallies, and watching Argentina's match late at night started circulating on the internet.

As the topic started trending, Argentine media picked up on it as well. Various Journalists and Argentine news outlets started sharing the story. Later, Argentina's national football team's official Twitter account tweeted about Bangladesh saying, "Thank you for supporting our team!! They are crazy like us!"

Alongside media and journalists, the people of Argentina also took to social media to show their appreciation for Bangladesh. Argentinians were also seen with Bangladeshi flags and chanting "Bangladesh! Bangladesh!" in the stadium during their World Cup games.

Argentinians were mesmerised by the fact that people of a country they barely know, thousands of miles away in another continent, were just as passionate as them about Argentina's national football team.

Many of them started to ask why Bangladesh has such a massive support for the Argentina football team. When did they start supporting Argentina like this?

The origin of the craze Bangladesh has for Argentina or World Cup in general can be traced back to the eighties. With colour TV starting to become more available in the country, the World Cup was more accessible.

Then, during the 1986 World Cup, Bangladesh witnessed a magician by the name of Maradona, who stunned the world with his skills and led Argentina to their second World Cup victory.

It was love at first sight. Maradona and his team instantly made a place in the hearts of many Bangladeshi people with their sheer footballing brilliance. The support for Argentina here continued long after Maradona retired and later his legacy was carried on by another magician from Rosario.

The relationship between Bangladesh and Argentina is special. Two countries coming together in the name of football like this is rarely seen. The support Bangladesh has for Argentina will never fade away. Maybe this is what they mean by the "Power of Football".

Tamjidul Hoque is ready to be hurt again by Argentina this world cup, tell him what you think will happen this time at: [email protected]