Lionel Messi reduced to tears by fans’ rousing homecoming welcome for first game since historic triumph in Qatar

Today was finally the day all Argentines have been eagerly waiting for. Lionel Messi was set to lift the World Cup trophy in front of a fully packed home crowd at the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires.

After Lionel Messi and his Argentines squad marched in a victory parade following the South American side’s world cup triumph. This was the first time the champions returned to their homeland since the parade.

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And boy oh boy did they get a welcome back from the locals! Argentina were set to play against Panama in an international friendly, and the stadium, with a capacity of over 83,000 people, was fully packed with passionate Argentines football fans. 

Lionel Messi
Teammates lift up Argentina’s Lionel Messi during a celebration ceremony for the World Cup winners after an international friendly soccer match against Panama in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, March 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Gustavo Garello)

The energy and passion of the Buenos Aires crowd was unbelievable. As seen in a recent video clip, the crowd greeted their World Cup heroes with fireworks and energetic victory chants.

As they were singing the national anthem, some players got quite emotional, particularly Lionel Messi, Emiliano Martinez, and coach Lionel Scaloni, who were spotted with tearful eyes.

Lionel Messi, following his homecoming, has received the warmest of welcomes from the locals. Fans mobbed him as he was eating dinner in a restaurant, and he was spotted cruising at the motorway as well.

How did Lionel Messi and Argentina play against Panama?

The crowd’s passion and energy only drove the team forward. In the first half, the World Champions couldn’t manage to find the back of the net thanks to the heroics of Panama goalkeeper Jose Guerra.

The Argentinians managed to break through in the late minutes of the second half. After taking the lead with Thiago Almada’s goal in the 78th minute, Lionel Messi doubled the lead in the 89th minute from a spot kick that was shot at a perfect angle. Guerra got the direction correct, but had no chance of stopping the perfectly taken free kick.

Lionel Messi

With this goal, Lionel Messi, the little magician reached a career milestone, as he scored his 800th career goal for club and country today. This particular milestone solidifies his place in the debate of the “greatest of all time.”

With such warm greetings, and the fact that Messi’s contract with PSG is soon coming to an end, the seven times Ballon d’Or winner is sure to consider playing for a club in his home country next season.


Tanzeem Rahman

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Tanzeem Rahman is a soccer writer and an editor at SportsZion. Tanzeem's love for the sport began by watching and admiring Cristiano Ronaldo in his early Manchester United days. Having graduated from Germany as an Electrical Engineer, Tanzeem has watched multiple high-profile games throughout Europe from the gallery. His knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport, as well as sublime english proficiency has been an asset to SportsKnot. Outside of his duty, Tanzeem is a gamer, and loves to spend time watching Anime and reading Manga.


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