Argentina fans give World Cup heroes incredible welcome as Messi’s family watch on
Argentina fans give World Cup winning-heroes an INCREDIBLE welcome in their first match since Qatar glory in 2-0 win over Panama… with Lionel Messi’s family watching on from the stands in Buenos Aires as he scores stunning free-kick
Argentina fans gave their heroes a typically passionate reception ahead of their first match after securing global glory.
Lionel Scaloni’s side won the World Cup in Qatar last year, beating France 4-2 on penalties, to take their third title.
And supporters flocked to capital city Buenos Aires to greet Lionel Messi and Co as they faced island minnows Panama in a friendly on Thursday evening.
The superstar scored – the 800th strike of his career – in the 2-0 win as he delivered like he did at the showpiece tournament in December.
Thousands packed into the Estadio Monumental, the home of River Plate, with fans waving flags, banging drums and chanting joyously in another celebration of their World Cup triumph.
Players of Argentina pose for a photo with World Cup replica trophies after win over Panama
Emiliano Martinez (second left) and Argentina teammates make crude gesture with trophies
Messi walks with the winning team replica of the FIFA World Cup trophy, alongside his family
Messi is lifted up by teammates during a recognition ceremony for World Cup winning players
Argentina fans gave their heroes a raucous reception in their first match since the World Cup
Among those in the stands were captain Messi’s partner Antonela Roccuzzo and their children.
TV news channels showed live pictures of the players arriving at the stadium for the match along with a police escort.
Paris Saint-Germain forward Messi, widely considered one of the greatest players of all time, had been previously blasted by Argentines for not caring enough about his country or not delivering on the biggest stage like legend Diego Maradona did.
But that has all changed now, and according to reports, on Monday hundreds of fans crowded outside a steakhouse in Palermo, Buenos Aires, when they realised Messi was inside having dinner.
As he walked out smiling, surrounded by security, well-wishers chanted ‘Messi I love you’ and ‘Thank you, Leo’.
Fans had to wait until the 89th minute for some Messi magic as he struck a stunning free-kick into the top right corner to double Argentina’s lead following Thiago Almada’s opener.
Afterwards the players were joined by their loved ones on the pitch to enjoy their World Cup glory in front of their adoring fans.
Messi was lifted into the air while photos with replica World Cup trophies were taken.
Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez could not resist performing the crude celebration for which he was so heavily criticized for back in December.
Music was performed in the massive stadium above the message ‘Thank you Champions’
Supporters waved flags, dressed up in their colours and banged drums in a party atmosphere
It was ‘Messi Mania’ for victorious captain Lionel, who lifted the World Cup in Qatar in 2022
Paris Saint-Germain forward Messi, 35, started the friendly against Panama on Thursday
Messi’s partner Antonela Roccuzzo (centre) and his children were present in the stands
Thousands packed into River Plate’s Estadio Monumental to greet their triumphant heroes
The stands were a sea of white and light blue as the seething mass greeted their stars joyously
Source of data and images: dailymail