Lionel Messi: ‘I hope this craziness never ends’
Argentine celebrations continued this week as the World Cup winners enjoyed a lap of honour on home soil.
After so many years of heartbreak in an Argentina shirt, Lionel Messi finally reached the promised land last December when he lifted the World Cup with his nation.
The Argentina side that recaptured the trophy in Qatar, for the first time since 1986, returned to their homeland during the international break for a legendary lap of honour.
Central to the celebrations was Lionel Messi, who scored four goals across the two fixtures, making him only the third player in the history of men’s international football to reach 100 goals.
Writing on Instagram after the 7-0 demolition of Curaçao on Tuesday, Messi said: “What a nice way to close these dates, so impressed today all the people in Santiago del Estero.”
“I wish we can continue to share together many moments like these and that this craziness never ends!!!” he wrote.
Messi hits another milestone
The return to Argentine soil could scarcely have gone better for the World Cup winners, with two comfortable wins and plenty of goals. Of course, this meant an opportunity for the captain to add to his incredible tally.
In the first fixture against Panama, Messi whipped in a late free-kick to send the El Monumental crowd wild. On Tuesday he plundered a 16-minute hat-trick to surpass the 100-goal mark for his country.
Messi has now scored 102 goals in 174 international appearances, putting him behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Ali Daei in the all-time goalscoring rankings. However the Argentine is out on his own when it comes to goal contributions (goals and assists), with 156.
Argentina’s training ground named after Messi
Messi’s status as one of football’s true immortals was confirmed when he lifted the World Cup last December and there are no shortages of monuments to his career.
Another was added on Saturday when Chiqui Tapia, head of the Argentine Football Association, announced that the national team’s training centre would be renamed ‘Lionel Andrés Messi’.
The Buenos Aires complex was previously known as the Casa de Ezeiza but will now be a permanent tribute to the man who returned Argentina to the top of the world after a 36-year wait.
In a tweet announcing the change, Tapia wrote: “We lived a historic day in our Casa de Ezeiza, which from today will be renamed Lionel Andrés Messi, in homage to the best player in the world.”
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