Lionel Messi struggled to hold back the tears as he and his Argentina team-mates received an incredible homecoming following their World Cup triumph. Messi and co. played on home turf for the first time since lifting the trophy on Thursday (March 23), hosting Panama in a friendly. There were special scenes before the match as the 83,000-strong crowd gave them a hero’s welcome at the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires. A firework display was held while the teams lined up on the pitch, with the home fans chanting loud enough to have raised the roof – if there was one. READ MORE: Player once dubbed Barcelona’s ‘next Messi’ retires after Stoke City disaster Their serenading left the whole team on the verge of tears. Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez was visibly emotional and Messi looked particularly choked up. Once the game got underway, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was once again the star of the show. He twice hit the woodwork with free-kicks. And it was a case of third time lucky as he netted one in the 89th minute to secure Argentina a 2-0 victory, with young midfielder Thiago Almada also getting on the scoresheet. It was his 99th… Read full this story
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