Lionel Messi on cloud nine by new Argentina tribute to World Cup winner

Lionel Messi on cloud nine by new Argentina tribute to World Cup winner

Isaac Darko
  • Lionel Messi has been honoured by Argentina Football Association after winning the World Cup
  • The Seven-time Ballon d'Or winner has been named after after Argentina's training centre
  • Argentina defeated France on penalties to win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

Argentina's training centre would be named after Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi, the country's FA president has announced.

Messi played a pivotal role in La Albiceleste's triumph at last year's World Cup in Qatar.

The 35-year-old received the Golden Ball as the best player at the Mundial, netting seven goals and registering three assists as Argentina beat France in the final.

Lionel Messi, Argentina, Panama
Lionel Messi celebrating with his family and Argentina teammates after beating Panama 2-0 at El Monumental. Photo by Marcelo Endelli.
Source: Getty Images

Argentina crossed swords against Panama in a friendly game on Thursday night, with Messi scoring from a beautiful freekick in a 2-0 victory.

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The goal was the 800th strike of his professional career against Panama on Thursday and he is now one short of the 100-goal mark for the national squad.

The Argentine phenomenon became the second-ever player to reach 800 goals, 30 goals behind his rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

The friendly against Panama was viewed as a homecoming for Lionel Scaloni's side, and it was also Messi's first in Argentina since the tournament in Qatar.

As such, the Argentinian Football Association were keen to show their gratitude to their skipper.

Messi was informed of his latest honour on Saturday and was clearly overwhelmed by it. The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner wrote on Instagram:

"This recognition is one of the nicest I've ever received. A great honour, thank you very much."

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 in 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.