Mar 24, 2023 at 7:07 AMUpdate: 19 minutes ago
Thanks in part to the 800th goal in Lionel Messi’s career, Argentina won 2-0 against Panama on the night from Thursday to Friday. It was the South Americans’ first game since the world title in Qatar.
The duel in the Estadio Monumental was mainly about honoring the world champions. Afterwards, the players made a lap of honor past the audience with replicas of the World Cup.
In that atmosphere, it was logical that national coach Lionel Scaloni opted for exactly the same basic players against Panama as on December 18 in the World Cup final against France.
The underdog struggled for a long time, but after 79 minutes the home team broke the spell. Substitute Major League Soccer tastemaker Thiago Almada of Atlanta United scored from a rebound after Messi hit the post from a free kick.
Just before time, the superstar of Paris Saint-Germain did score a goal from a free kick in a beautiful way. After this, the players and staff members could start the victory round.
“I’ve always dreamed of this: to celebrate in our own country that we won the World Cup,” Messi said afterwards. “Let’s enjoy this, because we’ve had a long wait.”
Argentina also practices against Curaçao
In the festivities, the milestone of Messi’s eight hundredth goal was somewhat snowed under. The dribbler scored 98 of his goals for the national team. Cristiano Ronaldo, who is more than two years older than Messi, already reached the limit of eight hundred goals in December 2021.
Argentina will also encounter Curaçao later in this international match period. This game will be played in the night from Monday to Tuesday.
Argentina will only play friendly matches in the coming period. Photo: Getty Images
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