- Lionel Messi's second return to Argentina after World Cup victory was electric
- The PSG forward was bombarded by fans while out dining at a local restaurant
- The 35-year-old star has insisted he will keep representing the national team
Lionel Messi was serenaded by love and chants from fans in his native home country of Argentina on his second return since the World Cup triumph last year.
Messi immortalised himself in Argentina's folklore after finally guiding the nation to winning the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - their third since Diego Maradona's win in 1986 and victory in 1978.
The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner was often judged on his inability to win international trophies despite his stunning form at club level.
However, he silenced the naysayers with three trophies in the span of one year under Lionel Scaloni.
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La Albiceleste first beat Brazil to win the Copa America in June 2021, before beating Italy in the inaugural Finalissima at Wembley Stadium. They then topped it off by beating France in the Qatar final after an enthralling three-all draw.
Messi declined propositions to retire from international duty by expressing his desire to keep playing for his country. He was included in Scaloni's latest squad in what is expected to offer him a breather after a few torrid weeks at Paris Saint-Germain.
As Roy Nemer reports, the superstar was surrounded by fans as he ate with his family at the Don Julio restaurant upon his arrival in the country. Videos online show fans singing his name as he left the establishment.
Argentina are set to face Panama and Curacao in the two international friendlies this coming week.
Barcelona star wants Messi 'home'
At the same time, Sports Brief reported on Sergi Roberto taking a swipe at PSG fans who whistled at Messi while subtly urging the Argentine to reconsider his future.
The Barcelona midfielder raised an eyebrow over the hostile treatment meted out to the veteran by the Parisians' fanbase during Sunday's Ligue 1 clash with Rennes.
Messi and his PSG teammates stumbled to an unexpected two-nil defeat at the Parc des Princes, which fuelled the jeers towards the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner.