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From Goalkeeper to President: Javier Milei’s Extraordinary Rise to Power

  /  Jumpoint

From Goalkeeper to President: Javier Milei’s Extraordinary Rise to Power

Unconventional economist-turned-politician, Javier Milei, has emerged as the newly elected President of Argentina, an accomplishment that has left political pundits astounded. Known for his animated and often contentious television appearances, the 53-year old right-wing populist, who has been likened to Al Capone, secured a resounding 56% of the vote. His political journey began in 2020 when he vowed to ‘blow up’ the system, a promise that has since resonated with the masses.

From ‘El Loco Milei’ to ‘The Lion’

Milei, nicknamed ‘El Loco Milei’ during his time as a goalkeeper for Chacarita Juniors and San Lorenzo de Almagro in the 1980s, is remembered for his audacious style on the pitch. Off the field, he is known for his complex personality that oscillates between quiet and reserved to arrogant and strong-willed. These traits have been carried into his political career, where he now refers to himself as ‘the lion’.

A Radical Economic Vision

The centerpiece of Milei’s economic plan involves replacing Argentina’s local currency, the peso, with the U.S. dollar, a radical proposal that has stirred controversy. His vision extends to a smaller government, relaxed labor laws, and a reboot of the economy. Additionally, Milei’s stance against feminist policies, abortion, and his proposal for a plebiscite to repeal the law have made him a contentious figure.

The Journey to Presidency

Milei’s ascent to presidency was marked by a campaign fueled by his vehement criticism of a ‘thieving and corrupt political class.’ His proposed measures to ‘dynamite’ the central bank and cut public spending, coupled with his message of ‘long live freedom, damn it!’ resonated with the youth, particularly on platforms like TikTok and YouTube. Milei’s victory marks a significant shift to the right for Argentina, a nation grappling with an economic crisis.

Related: Argentina