how a 2003 hit became Argentina’s anthem at the World Cup

(CNN) — If a World Cup tune stuck in your head, this is probably it.

Heard on the streets of Doha, in the stands of the Lusail Stadium and even in the Argentine locker room, La Mosca’s 2003 hit “Muchachos” has become the unofficial anthem of Argentina’s World Cup triumph.

Originally titled “Boys, I’m getting drunk tonight”, the song was rewritten by a teacher, Fernando Romero, to mention Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and “los pibes de las Malvinas”.

Romero renamed the song as “Boys, now we are excited again”, and such was its popularity that La Mosca re-recorded the song with the new lyrics before the World Cup in Qatar, and even included Romero in the new video clip.

In an interview with the Argentine media The uncoveringRomero said that the song “changed my life”.


Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona are mentioned in the new version of “Muchachos”. Credit: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/AFP via Getty Images

“In Argentina I was born / Land of Diego and Lionel / of the kids from Malvinas / That I will never forget”, says the new lyrics.

“Guys, now we’re excited again / I want to win the third / I want to be world champion / And we can see Diego / from heaven / With Don Diego and La Tota [padres de Maradona]/Cheering on Lionel.”

The Malvinas Islands, located 480 kilometers from the Argentine coast and the scene in 1982 of a bloody three-month war between Argentina and the United Kingdom, lost the lives of more than 600 Argentine soldiers.

When England and Argentina met in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup, a game now famous for Maradona’s “Hand of God” and “Goal of the Century,” it was the first time they had met in a sports scene from the Malvinas War.

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

“It was like beating a country, not a soccer team,” Maradona wrote in his autobiography “I am El Diego” about that 1986 World Cup match against England.

“Although before the game we said that soccer had nothing to do with the Malvinas War, we knew that many Argentine boys had died there, that they had riddled us like little birds.”

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

The Argentine team landed in Buenos Aires early Tuesday morning, and were greeted on the streets of the Argentine capital with numerous renditions of “Guys, now we got excited again.”

The one that the same players sang once they won the World Cup goes like this:

“In Argentina I was born / Land of Diego and Lionel / of the kids from Malvinas / That I will never forget / Guys, now all that remains is to celebrate / We already won the third, we are already world champion / And to Diego, we tell him to rest in peace. / With Don Diego and with La Tota, for all eternity”.

The version sung over and over again during the World Cup already has 13 million views on YouTube and that figure is likely to increase considerably by the end of the year.

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