- Lionel Messi and Argentina have been rejuvenated under head coach Lionel Scaloni
- Scaloni took over after the 2018 World Cup and convinced Messi to come out of his retirement
- He has helped his country win three trophies while building the team around the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner
Lionel Messi's legacy was almost tainted by his lack of international silverware and constant failure with the Argentina national team.
Lionel Scaloni's appointment as head coach shortly after the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, where Argentina were eliminated in the round of 16 by eventual winners France, has changed his fortune.
The 44-year-old urged Messi out of his international retirement, and together they started a journey that has culminated in three international trophies and building one of the best teams in the world.
La Albiceleste triumphed in Qatar, beating France 4-2 on penalties in the final to win their third World Cup. The victorious team played in Argentina for the first time on Friday, beating Panama 2-0, as reported by ESPN.
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Messi orders his teammate
Messi is the captain of the national team. Beyond that, he is the leader and the idol of most of the group, and this has helped the unity of the team to achieve their goals.
After the match against Panama, the former Barcelona captain was seen ordering his teammates to go in a certain direction with a finger gesture. They all moved immediately like an army, according to a video circulating on Twitter.
The show of respect in the video comes as no surprise. Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez in 2021 claimed he would give his life to see Messi achieve his goals for the national team, as reported by 90min.
Messi's bodyguard and Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodrigo De Paul said in an interview with FIFA that he would go to war for the Paris Saint-Germain attacker if he asked him to. That is the level of respect his teammates have for him.
Messi signs Panama player's jersey
The 35-year-old is loved both in his country and beyond. As Sports Brief reported, he signed the jersey of Panama player Ivan Anderson after the 2-0 at El Monumental.
He scored a beautiful free kick in the 89th minute of the game to wrap up the game and also reached the milestone of 800 career goals for club and country.