Carlos Pascual, Argentina's most famous football fan and more commonly known as 'El Tula,' has died at the age of 83.
Pascual was an iconic fan of the Argentina's national side and passed away from health complications after being hospitalised at a health centre and put into an induced coma.
'El Tula' became famous for cheering on the national team in various competitions and matches. He peaked last year, when he received FIFA's award for "best fan" on behalf of all Argentines after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Pascual was hospitalised in a delicate condition, as reported by his family through social networks a few days ago, where they asked for a prayer chain for his health.
The hype man, as he was also known, had undergone surgery on Wednesday, January 31 in Buenos Aires following to complications derived from a severe illness that he had been fighting for several years.
He was born in Rosario, but he toured Argentina and the world, following the national team uninterruptedly from the 1974 World Cup in Germany until the last one in Qatar 2022 – a total of 13 World Cups.
When he was honoured onstage by FIFA, Pascual appeared in all the regalia he wore to matches. As Lionel Messi, Emiliano 'Dibu' Martínez and Lionel Scaloni won individual awards, 'Tula' outshone them all dressed in a national team shirt, chains, crosses, piluso caps and a drum with images of Pope Francis and Eva Perón.
"As an Argentine I am very happy because we won all the awards. 'El Dibu,' Scaloni, Messi. Now, as a fan I am very happy because I am the hype: since Germany 1974. From that historic day until now I have been in all the World Cups and Copa Américas," Pascual said that day, after receiving “The Best” award from FIFA.
"At this point, at 82 years old, I have been everywhere. I am poor, but I have travelled all over the world. I am another fan who comes to represent the thousands of Argentines who are cheering for our beloved National Team and the millions who celebrate,” he remarked.
Pascual is also known for his love and fanaticism for Rosario Central, a passion inherited from his father.
During childhood, Pascual lived in the neighbourhood where the club is located, near the Gigante de Arroyito stadium. His son said that his father started playing the bass drum in the stands by mere chance – it was his passion for the Albiceleste that led him across the world.