‘Muchachos’: How a 2003 hit became the unofficial anthem of Argentina’s World Cup success

If you’ve had a catchy tune stuck in your head from the World Cup, it’s likely this one.

Heard in the streets of Doha, the stands of the Lusail Stadium and even in the Argentine dressing room, the 2003 hit ‘Muchachos’ by La Mosca has become the unofficial anthem of Argentina’s World Cup success.

Originally bearing the title “Muchachos, esta noche me emborracho” – “Boys, tonight I will get drunk” – the song was rewritten by a teacher, Fernando Romero, to mention Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and “the kids of las Malvinas.”

Romero renamed the song “Muchachos, ahora nos volvimos a ilusionar” – “Boys, now we have hope again” – and such was its popularity, La Mosca rerecorded the tune with the new lyrics before the World Cup in Qatar, even featuring Romero in the new music video.

In an interview with Argentine outlet El Destape, Romero said the song has “changed my life.”

“I was born in Argentina/Land of Diego and Lionel/The kids of the Malvinas/ Who I will never forget,” go the new lyrics.

“Boys, now we have hope again/I want to win the third/I want to be world champion/And Diego/We can see him from heaven/With Don Diego and La Tota [Maradona’s parents]/Encouraging Lionel.”

‘Las Malvinas’ is the Spanish language name given to the Falkland Islands, which sit 480 kilometers off the coast of Argentina and was the site of a bloody three-month war in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom, during which more than 600 Argentine soldiers lost their lives.

When England and Argentina faced off in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals – a game now famed for Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ and ‘Goal of the Century’ – it was the first time they had met in a sporting arena since the Falklands War.

Many of the players had, at least on the Argentine side, friends or relatives who had been conscripted, maybe even lost their life.

“It was like beating a country, not a football team,” Maradona wrote in his autobiography “I am El Diego” of the that 1986 World Cup game against England.

“Although we said before the game that football had nothing to do with the Malvinas War, we knew that a lot of Argentine kids had died there, that they had mowed us down like little birds.”

Before Qatar, 1986 was the last time Argentina had won the World Cup and Romero’s new lyrics encapsulate the hope Argentine fans had that Lionel Scaloni’s men could finally add a third star to the famed light blue and white jerseys. Argentina’s first World Cup title was secured in 1978 when the South American nation hosted the tournament.

With the Argentina squad landing in Buenos Aires in the early hours of Tuesday morning, you can be sure numerous renditions of “Muchachos, ahora nos volvimos a ilusionar” will be heard in the streets of the Argentine capital.

The new version of the song has already racked up 13 million views on YouTube and it’s likely that number will be considerably higher come the end of the year.

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