Huge crowds party in Buenos Aires after Argentina's dramatic World Cup win

Fans in Buenos Aires packed the streets to celebrate the historic victory

Football fans in Argentina let loose in the captial Buenos Aires on Sunday after Lionel Messi led the country to victory in one of the most dramatic World Cup finals in history.

Messi came to Qatar looking to crown a glittering career by leading Argentina to a third World Cup triumph and managed just that after a staggering 3-3 draw ending in a 4-2 shootout win against former champions France.

It was the country’s third World Cup title and the first since 1986.

During the match, fans watching in a public square in Buenos Aires chanted the name of their their team captain Messi, who is considered by many to be the world's greatest football player.

“Holding Leo Messi by the hand, we’re going to go all the way,” the crowd could be heard chanting.

Argentine soccer fans celebrate their team's World Cup victory over France in downtown Buenos Aires, Argentina. Credit: AP

Following the win, the streets of Argentina's capital erupted into a wall of noise as millions of fans cried, hugged and sang to the backdrop of fireworks and music.

Hector Quinteros, a 34-year-old security guard said: “I feel an immense happiness in my heart because this is the first World Cup I truly enjoy."

At the end of the first half, many were gearing up to celebrate as Argentina led 2-0 and clearly dominated the match.

But that early happiness turned to anxiety as France caught up, ultimately leaving the score at 3-3 before Argentina beat France 4-2 on penalties.

For many, the agonizing feelings of Sunday's roller-coaster final made the victory all the sweeter.

Argentine soccer fans celebrate their team's World Cup victory over France in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Credit: AP

“When you suffer over something so much, the satisfaction is greater,” said Fabio Villani, a 45-year-old video editor who was celebrating in the capital.

Fans also took a moment to remember Argentina great Diego Maradona, who led the national team to what had been its last World Cup title in 1986 and died two years ago.

Javier López, 18, said: “Diego sees everything from heaven, he wouldn't have wanted Argentina to lose.

"The first cup without him and we won! Diego is always here, he's eternal."

Brazilian football legend Pelé took to social media to congratulate Argentina for their victory and added: “Diego is certainly smiling now."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know

In Rosario, Messi’s hometown, a sea of people went out into the streets to celebrate that their local hero.

Tens of thousands of people descended on the National Flag Memorial, the symbol of Argentina’s third largest city, as Messi lifted the trophy.

There was a sense of joy that isn't frequent in a country that is suffering with one of the world’s highest inflation rates - with almost four in 10 people living in poverty.

Alberto Czornenki, a 45-year-old retail worker, said: “We needed this, we needed this for all the things that we're going through economically, politically, socially.

“Our lives are full of suffering due to all that, that karma that we have, and this at least gives us some happiness.

"We're then going to wake up to reality and we're going to be in the same place, but with a different kind of enthusiasm.”

President Alberto Fernández joined in on the celebrations and thanked the national team for the victory.

“Thank you to the players and the technical team," Fernández wrote on social media.

"They're an example that we must never give up. That we have great people and a great future."

Fireworks explode behind riot police officers on the Champs-Elysees avenue. Credit: AP

Meanwhile, in France sadness turned to anger for some fans as police clashes broke out in the capital Paris.

Supporters were seen being pushed back by lines of riot police while fireworks continued to be set off.

The events mirrored similar scenes which were witnessed last week in the wake of Les Bleus’ semi-final win over Morocco.

Following France’s 2-0 victory, fans of both nations clashed, leading to the death of a 14-year-old boy after he was struck by a car in Montpellier.