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Young Argentines celebrate first World Cup win in their lifetimes at the top of Aspen Mountain

Eleanor Bennett
Aspen Public Radio
Gianluca Agliano, second from right, and his friends celebrate Argentina’s World Cup victory at the Sundeck on Aspen Mountain on Sunday. Agliano — who is from Mar del Plata, Argentina — and several of his friends got J-1 visas so that they could work on the ski slopes for the winter.

Pueden encontrar la versión en español aquí.

Local bars and ski slopes were abuzz with Argentinian soccer fans after the country narrowly beat France 4-3 during Sunday’s World Cup final.

At the Sundeck on Aspen Mountain Sunday afternoon, Gianluca Agliano waved the Argentinian flag while his friends in Messi jerseys, did a victory chant.

Agliano works at the Lynn Britt Cabin at Snowmass Ski Area and is from Mar del Plata, Argentina. He’s here for his first winter season on a J-1 visa, a temporary work permit that brings hundreds of seasonal employees to the Roaring Fork Valley every year.

He watched the match at the base of Aspen Highlands before heading over to celebrate with friends at the Sundeck at Ajax.

“It was pretty tense,” Agliano said. ”The first half was pretty hype and then after they tied the game we were super nervous, then after that we were crying, and now we are partying.”

He and his friends are all under 30 years old, and this was Argentina’s first World Cup win in their lifetimes.

“It’s our first World Cup win being alive and it’s a big deal,” he said.

Despite Argentina’s early lead, the final match turned into a nail-biter that went into overtime and ended in a final round of penalty kicks.

Through it all, Agliano said it was the Argentinian spirit that ultimately carried the team to victory.

“Our passion is the thing that carries us,” he said. “We knew that we could win, and that’s what I’m taking away from this — no matter what, you can win.”

Eleanor is an award-winning journalist and "Morning Edition" anchor. Eleanor has reported on a wide range of topics in her community, including the impacts of federal immigration policies on local DACA recipients, the Valley’s COVID-19 eviction and housing crisis, and hungry goats fighting climate change across the West through targeted grazing. Connecting with people from all walks of life and creating empathic spaces for them to tell their stories fuels her work.