Lionel Messi, the Argentine icon received a warm reception from Inter Miami fans in a friendly exhibition match against New York City last week, proudly displaying his Golden Ball accolade. This came after being presented with his record eighth Ballon d’Or accolade by France Football for Best Player of the Year.
Messi recently joined La Albiceleste’s training camp in Argentina to lead his side in the CONMEBOL 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Before the kick-off against Uruguay, he met his friend Luis Suarez and was presented with a plaque to honor his Ballon d’Or triumph on Thursday.
Lionel Messi receives plaque for his eighth Ballon d’Or win
The former Barcelona and PSG talisman, Messi, returned to his native Argentina for international duty with his national team. The World Cup winners were scheduled to resume their World Cup qualifier campaign against Uruguay and Brazil in November.
Prior to kick-off, Lionel Messi was presented with a trophy and a plaque in honor of acknowledging his record-eighth Ballon d’Or award. Walking into the center of the pitch, Messi received the esteemed recognition as fans applauded, showcasing his plaque in front of the home fans at the full-packed La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires.
However, the Ballon d’Or celebrations went quiet post-match after the hosts shocked the home fans with a 2-0 victory over the World champions. Argentina suffered their first loss since their World Cup glory in Qatar last year in 2022. Moreover, it was their first loss in this South American World Cup qualification campaign.
Despite an upset against Uruguay, the reigning world champions remain at the top of the table with 12 points. Next up, they face Brazil, who will also be seeking a rebound after a loss to Colombia, courtesy of Luis Diaz’s heroics two-goal performance.
Lionel Messi reunites with Luis Suárez in Argentina vs Uruguay
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, close friends and former Barcelona teammates, once shared the pitch at Camp Nou. Alongside Neymar Jr, they formed an exceptional attacking partnership, leading the club to a successful treble-winning season in 2015. Currently, Messi plays in MLS, while Suarez is competing in the Brazil Serie A.
The duo finally met and completed the joyful reunion before kick-off, warming up ahead of their clash in national team colors. Additionally, recent reports suggest that Luis Suarez is all set to join his buddy Lionel Messi at Inter Miami in the upcoming January transfer window for the next season.