Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com
Argentina fans greeted their heroes with characteristic fervor before of their first game since rising to stardom.
Lionel Scaloni’s squad recently won their third World Cup in Qatar, defeating France 4-2 on penalties.
And fans flocked to the capital, Buenos Aires, to greet Lionel Messi and company as they take on the Panama-island Minnows in a friendly on Thursday night.
The superstar scored in the 2-0 win – the 800th of his career – and delivered as he did at the flagship tournament in December.
Thousands thronged the Estadio Monumental, home of River Plate, with fans waving flags, banging drums and happily singing to celebrate their World Cup triumph once again.
Also in the stands were captain Messi’s partner Antonela Roccuzzo and their children.
Argentina fans gave their heroes a rousing welcome in their first game since the World Cup. In the huge stadium, music was performed over the message “Thank you, champions.”
Devotees waved flags, donned their colors and banged drums in a party mood. It was “Messi Mania” for the victorious captain Lionel, who won the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The 35-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward started Thursday’s friendly against Panama.
Thousands packed River Plate’s Estadio Monumental to salute their triumphant heroes. The stands were a sea of white and light blue as the seething crowd happily greeted their stars.
TV news channels showed live footage of the players arriving at the stadium accompanied by a police escort.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Paris Saint-Germain striker Messi was previously slammed by the Argentines for not caring enough about his country or not delivering on the biggest stage like legend Diego Maradona did.
But that’s all changed now and hundreds of fans reportedly crowded outside a steakhouse in Palermo, Buenos Aires on Monday when they realized Messi was inside eating dinner.
As he walked out smiling, surrounded by security guards, the well-wishers chanted “Messi I love you” and “Thank you Leo”.
Fans had to wait for more Messi magic until the 89th minute, when he smashed a stunning free-kick into the top right corner to double Argentina’s lead after Thiago Almada’s opener.