After Argentina’s thrilling 2-0 win over Mexico during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, social media was flooded with videos of the team singing gleefully in the locker room. The song is ‘Muchachos, Ahora Nos Volvimos an Ilusionar’ by La Mosca, an Argentinean nine-piece band that blends ska, rock and pop with tango sorrow. It translates to ‘Boys, We Have Our Hopes Up Again.’
Since striker Lionel Messi, widely regarded as the best soccer player in the world, stated during an interview with an Argentine channel earlier this year that ‘Muchachos’ was his favourite soccer song among dozens of others—and even sang a little bit live—it has gained attention from fans all over the world. The song was again in the spotlight and very appropriately so after Argentina’s two goals—one of which was scored by Messi himself—helped the country avoid being disqualified from the World Cup. After all, Messi is mentioned in the first line: “I was born in Argentina, land of Diego and Lionel, of the kids from the Falkland Islands, whom I’ll never forget.”
However, it never used to. Originally titled ‘Muchachos, Esta Noche Me Emborracho’ (‘Boys, Tonight I’ll Get Drunk’), it was a heartbreak track written in 2003 by La Mosca lead singer Guillermo Novellis and Sergio Cairat. Fernando Romero, a fan, composed new lyrics honouring Argentina’s journey to the Copa América final. A fortunate encounter with a camera crew outside the final in Brazil caused the song with the revised lyrics to go viral, which attracted Messi and his teammates’ attention.
Two weeks before the World Cup began, Novellis and La Mosca also took notice of it. They recorded and released the new version, for which Romero is given credit.