Argentina's long hot summer kicked off in December with the celebrations after Lionel Messi and co had won the World Cup. And it blazed all the way through to the end of March, when the team came home to play two celebratory friendlies.
The prestige of that triumph in Qatar was all important to this process. Designated under-20 host Indonesia was running into organisational problems, and a tipping point was reached over a reluctance to accept the Israeli team.
South America acted shrewdly. The draw for the Copa Libertadores was put back a week, so that Argentina's World Cup-winning squad could attend and add some prestige for the event. FIFA president Gianni Infantino was there, and Argentina's FA boss Claudio Tapia pressed his case well. His country was ready to step in. It had stadiums available, the organisational capacity and the political will.
FIFA confirmed the choice earlier this week, ratified by the draw for the tournament on Friday.
And so Argentina now have a chance to win a tournament for which they failed to qualify. Interestingly, the same thing happened with Brazil at the under-17 level four years ago. They fell short of a place for Peru 2019, only to be included when the hosts were stripped of the rights and Brazil stepped in at late notice. Brazil went on to win the competition.
Argentina's under-20 coach Javier Mascherano will be hoping for something similar. In his first real test of his young coaching career, Mascherano had a disaster in the South American qualifiers at the start of the year. True, he was not helped by the tricky fact that there is no obligation on clubs to release their players. Plenty of European-based stars were not made available to him. But the same thing happened to Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia and Ecuador, and they all managed to book their place.
Meanwhile, Argentina's qualification campaign was dogged by ill fortune, injuries and goalkeeping errors. Mascherano's attempts to introduce a Barcelona-style passing game might well have been too ambitious, in terms of both the players at his disposal and the quality of the pitches. He resigned after the tournament but was talked into staying on by senior national team coach Lionel Scaloni.
And now the wheel of fortune has spun his way. Once again, there is no guarantee that he will get his hands on all of the players he wants. A provisional 37-man squad named earlier this week includes the likes of Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United), Matias Soule (Juventus) and Valentin Carboni (Internazionale) -- but their presence will depend on the will of those clubs.
But even if the side is some way short of full strength, the draw has been kind. A group with Uzbekistan, Guatemala and New Zealand should allow the new hosts to play their way comfortably into the competition.
Argentina have an excellent record at this tournament with six titles. That's more than than anyone else, though not since the Sergio Aguero-Angel Di Maria team of 2007. The new hosts can count on plenty of love from the terraces to help them bring that wait to an end.
Curiously, the tournament has no matches in Buenos Aires. FIFA preferred to go with stadiums that it can use exclusively over the course of the competition. The action will take place in La Plata, an hour away from the capital, and much further north in Mendoza, Santiago del Estero and San Juan. The provincial cities will surely treat the Argentina team as proxies for Messi & Co., and will do their best to roar the youngsters to another world title.
And will this do anything to bring the dream of hosting the 2030 World Cup any closer? Argentina, of course, are trying to host the centenary version of the senior tournament alongside Uruguay, Chile and Paraguay. Uruguay would get some high-profile games -- after all, it was the host back in 1930. Chile and Paraguay would have a few, but the bulk of the competition would be in Argentina.
The 2030 South American campaign appears to have flagged of late, coming across more as a romantic idea than a serious proposal. Stepping in at late notice to stage this under-20 competition could serve as a gentle reminder of South America's capability and desire to host the big one seven years from now.