BUENOS AIRES – Thousands of Argentines took to the streets to celebrate their nation’s third World Cup victory Sunday after Argentina beat France 4-2 in a penalty shootout in Qatar.

Following the final whistle, the capital Buenos Aires was filled with jubilant fans of all ages donning the national team's jersey, carrying flags, wearing face paint and banging drums loudly as they descended on the city center, bringing traffic to a standstill.

Fans came from across different neighborhoods to line the area around the city's iconic Obelisk -- a traditional spot where the nation’s football fans gather to mark their team's sporting success.

A massive flag in tribute to football legend Diego Maradona was unfurled at the Obelisk as supporters vied for the best vantage spots, climbing bus shelters and traffic lights, while others watched on from their balconies.

Joyous fans in high spirits chanted a number of popular songs in tribute to the team and to star player Lionel Messi.

Street vendors could be seen selling a range of items such as vuvuzelas, hats and jerseys while cars beeped their horns in celebration as they attempted to get through the sea of fans lining the streets.

At 4.30 p.m., thousands of light blue and white balloons were released into the sky to mark the achievements of La Albiceleste, as the team is referred to in Argentina.

Later in the evening at 8 p.m., the Obelisk paid tribute to Argentina's national team, displaying a number of images and phrases including "We are the champions."

Neighborhoods across Buenos Aires also burst into life as fans celebrated, jumping with joy, embracing one another and singing in high spirits on the streets.

President Alberto Fernandez thanked the players and technical staff on Twitter, describing them as an "example that we should not give up."

A range of leaders from Russia, Cuba, Panama, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, India, Brazil and France paid tribute to Argentina's success.

On Sunday, Argentina won 4-2 on penalties against France after the match finished 3-3 in extra time.

The result marked Argentina's first World Cup victory since 1986, when Maradona helped inspire the team and led them to glory in Mexico. (Anadolu)