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'Waited too long' | Argentina fans celebrate World Cup victory as Houston looks to 2026 tournament

Fans celebrated Argentina's World Cup win against France in downtown Houston and shared excitement about some matches coming to Houston in four years.

HOUSTON — Argentina fans in Houston celebrated big Sunday after their team's FIFA World Cup win against France.

"Argentina! Argentina! Argentina!" a crowd of fans chanted at Discovery Green.

It was Argentina's third FIFA World Cup win, but superstar Lionel Messi's first, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest to ever play the game.

"We waited too long for this. We are going to be the ones telling our kids who Messi was," one fan said.

The intense Argentina-France match was watched all over the world. It ended in a penalty shootout, in which a final kick by Argentina clinched the victory.

The most recent time Argentina won a World Cup was in 1986.

"I feel like we deserve this after waiting 36 years," another fan said.

Some remember that win.

"The school stopped activities. They took us all to the library and set up a big screen," an Argentina fan remembers from when he was a teenager.

The next World Cup is making a stop in Houston at NRG Stadium. The announcement was made by FIFA in June. Matches will also take place in other cities in the U.S. as well as in Canada and Mexico in 2026.

"The World Cup is a full 35 days and we'll have five or six matches, and being the global sport that it is, it will draw a lot of attention to our wonderful destination," CEO of the Harris County Houston Sports Authority Janis Burke said.

Behind the scenes, there is a lot of planning.

"It's kind of like when you go to a World Series game and the Houston Astros just won and you walk out and everybody is high-fiving and there's all that energy. It's like that every single day and so it's gonna be really really fun," Burke said.

Houston will not be hosting a semifinal or final match, according to Burke.

Fans said they're already saving to go to the games in four years.

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