Argentina walks out; world champion Messi is back in homeland for two internationals
Lionel Messi is back in Argentina for the first soccer international on home soil since he became world champion with the national team in Qatar. The star player is preparing for two practice matches with coach Lionel Scaloni’s Argentine selection. First next Thursday against Panama in stadium Monumental in Buenos Aires. Next Tuesday, Curaçao will be the opponent in the Argentine capital.
On Monday night, thousands of supporters waited in Buenos Aires as Messi dined with his family in a steak restaurant.
Chaos in Buenos Aires: thousands of supporters wait for Messi
The match against Panama also serves as a tribute. The Argentine soccer federation has planned festivities to celebrate the world title.
Messi led Argentina to its third world title late last year in Qatar by beating France in the final after penalty kicks. The 63,000 tickets available for the friendly duel were sold out within two hours.
Media coverage of the first match was enormous. The league received thousands of requests for accreditation, while the press stand has room for 344 journalists.
Messi, who previously quit briefly, is expected to continue playing for Argentina’s national team for the time being. “I see a happy person in the selection,” he said. So said national coach Lionel Scaloni on Tuesday night.
After winning the world title, Messi already indicated he would continue as an international for the time being. A specific period did not commit the player of France’s Paris Saint-Germain to that. Scaloni himself has since .
Scaloni, who extended his contract until 2026, is confident in the topline of his team. “We are hard to beat and we have to stay that way. Although that will become increasingly difficult. Everyone wants to win over Argentina now more than ever.”