It was a night to remember for all the Argentinian fans and in particular for Lionel Messi who scored his 800th career goal against Panama in a 2-0 win with a free kick in the final minutes of the friendly game. Argentina played for the first time in front of the home fans after the historic World Cup win last December, when the team coached by Lionel Scaloni took home the trophy after beating France on penalties.
🚨 LIONEL MESSI FREE KICK GOAL ALERT 🚨— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) March 24, 2023
Of course he scores in his first match for Argentina since the World Cup. 👊
The home fans celebrated their heroes at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires, where the National Team usually play the home matches and the atmosphere was incredible since the game started and afterwards as well, when all the players received a replica of the World Cup trophy and celebrated with all their families on the pitch. Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said: "Eternal gratitude to these players. Football belongs to them, and without them we wouldn't have won the World Cup. Everyone who wears this shirt gives their all and sometimes the results don't come. But this time we got it and it's incredible".
“A minute silence for…. Brazil that is dead.”— All About Argentina 🛎🇦🇷 (@AlbicelesteTalk) March 24, 2023
“A minute silence for…. France that is dead.”pic.twitter.com/0qXGAy9LgZ
However, all the eyes were again on Leo Messi, who scored, as mentioned, his 800th career goal and was celebrated by both fans and teammates who also tried to make him dancing after the game with no results. Messi wrote on his Instagram account few words to describe his night. "Many times I imagined what it could be like to return to my country as a world champion but now I have no words to explain what I feel, how grateful I am to all the people for their love... These are very, very special days and I can only tell you that I am immensely happy to see all the Argentine people enjoying and celebrating what was another success for everyone. Thank you".
Messi, according to the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), becomes the second player to ever reach 800 goals scored, after Cristiano Ronaldo made it as well in December 2021. With FC Barcelona Lionel Messi scored 672 goals in all competitions and scored 30 since he moved to PSG in the summer 2021. With Argentina, the soccer legend scored 98, including the one against Panama and reached the 800 landmark.
His contract is now due in the summer 2023 and there are increasing rumors that he might leave PSG with many clubs already looking to sign him including Inter Miami and FC Barcelona, with the President Laporta who still dreams for a possible comeback two years after his unexpected farewell.