Emotional scenes in Argentina as Lionel Messi scores 800th career goal
An emotional night for the iconic number 10.
Lionel Messi joined long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo in the select club of players to have scored 800 career goals. The forward scored in Argentina's first game on home soil since winning the World Cup in Qatar.
Argentina won the match 2-0 against Panama and Messi netted the second goal of the game with a wonderful free-kick.
Messi's 89th-minute strike was his 99th at international level. Thiago Almada scored the other goal for Argentina in the friendly.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 24, 2023
Emotional scenes in Argentina as Lionel Messi scores 800th career goal.
The Argentina captain and his teammates were visibly emotional during the pre-match anthems. The team were serenaded by 83,000 adoring fans at River Plate's iconic Monumental de Nunez Stadium.
Already considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, the one stick which was used to beat the Argentinian's legacy was that he had never replicated his club success on the international stage.
However, having led his country to both the Copa America and the World Cup over the course of the last two years, the PSG attacker has been deified in his home nation.
Those in attendance in Buenos Aires last night showed their appreciation.
Lionel Messi in tears 😢
What a moment as Argentina welcomes back its World Cup winners. pic.twitter.com/Pn9lHAw7uV
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) March 23, 2023
Messi retired from international football back in 2016, but reversed that decision and has continued to rack up the goals at international level.
Messi appeared to achieve his ultimate ambition of winning the World Cup and many predicted the 35-year-old would retire. The PSG forward, however, said that he wants to "keep experiencing a few more matches as World Champion."
After the victory over Panama, jubilant scenes followed as the World Cup-winning squad paraded the trophy around the pitch with their families in tow.
Argentina next face off against the small Caribbean island nation, Curaçao, on Tuesday night in Santiago del Estero.
If Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni is willing to risk his number 10 in such a fixture, who would bet against him claiming goal number 100 for La Albiceleste, and further cementing his footballing legacy.
- The Ireland team that should start our crucial Euro 2024 tie with France
- Expectation soars as Evan Ferguson captures Irish footballing imagination
- Stephen Kenny could be without one of Ireland’s star men against France
- Ireland vs France: Player ratings and updates from Euro 2024 qualifier