World Cup 2014: Blue-and-white Argentina army invades Rio are are convinced Lionel Messi's time has come

The Barcelona forward had a subdued performance in Argentina's opening game before scoring a superb winner

Rio de Janeiro

“Y ya lo ve / y ya lo ve / El que no salta / es un ingles!” “Now you see / now you see / He who doesn’t jump / Is an Englishman.”

England should be flattered that Argentina’s favourite football chant, that had 70,000 of them shaking the foundations of the Maracana on Sunday night, takes the trouble to castigate them. What do they have to hate the English for, really? David Beckham’s supine sidefoot in to an strangely unstable Diego Simeone? Peter Shilton’s inability to outjump the floating hand of a man approaching a full foot shorter than him?

Of course, there’s the Falklands, but it’s clear now that the Argentina team’s highly controversial intervention on that delicate issue was just a diversionary tactic, a false flag to detract attention from the carefully planned invasion their wild army of fans has launched on an unready Rio de Janeiro.

Read more: Messi delivers ominous warning
Match report: Argentina 2 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1
Messi 'relieved' after win

Buenos Aires is a two-and-a-half-hour flight or a 40-hour bus ride from Rio, but to be on Copacabana over the past 48 hours you could be forgiven for imagining they could only have come via a D-Day style amphibious landing. The volleyball nets, the football goals that line that most famous stretch of sand are all daubed in the light blue and white of the Albicelestes, the caipirinha-serving kiosks rocking to Argentine chants, regardless of who is playing. Several of the fans have been found lying on the beach in the morning. “We can’t afford a hotel,” said Miguel Doran, “but we are not missing this. No way”.

 

On Sunday night, as the metro trains rolled up the length of Copacabana, huge numbers piled on at every stop, instantly joining in with the singing that did not stop for a moment as the trains turned north, towards that great football cathedral, the Maracana, in the city’s more authentic heart. “It’s the World Cup, in Brazil. And we are better than them,” said Fernando Fredrique, 26, from Buenos Aires. “Leo Messi – this is his moment. This is our time. Rio. The Maracana, this is our home now.”

Argentina fans in front of the Maracana stadium for the FIFA World Cup 2014 group match between Argentina and Bosnia-Herzecovina Argentina fans in front of the Maracana stadium for the FIFA World Cup 2014 group match between Argentina and Bosnia-Herzecovina  

On Sunday Messi did what he has failed to do at two previous World Cups and scored the kind of breathtaking solo goal he has done almost countless times for Barcelona. Afterwards he said the support had been amazing, but he was sure “it will be the same in Porto Alegre and Belo Horizonte”, where they play their next two matches.

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
music
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
News
i100
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
peopleBroadcaster has a new role bringing 'the big stories that matter' to US
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
Moves to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products as medicines come amid increasing evidence of their effectiveness
healthHuge anti-smoking campaign kicks off on Wednesday
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
art
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf is one of Brad Pitt's favourite actors in the world ever, apparently
filmsAn 'eccentric' choice, certainly
Sport
footballBut the Newcastle United midfielder's news has 'left his mistress furious'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style