Lionel Messi received a hero’s welcome upon his return home to Rosario after leading Argentina to World Cup glory.
The 35-year-old returned to his hometown for the first time since lifting the World Cup on Sunday, having previously been forced to evacuate his team’s winners’ parade earlier in the day, due to safety concerns.
After the show, Messi was flown back by helicopter from Buenos Aires to Rosario – some 185 miles away – before he was photographed in a car driven by his wife, Antonella Roccuzzo, as they headed home.
Lionel Messi returned to the heroes’ reception in Rosario following Argentina’s World Cup success
It comes after Messi boarded a helicopter to return home after the Argentina bus parade
Four million fans greeted Messi and his teammates in Buenos Aires earlier today
Upon his arrival, Messi was greeted by hundreds of jubilant fans chanting “Del Campion”, translating to “Let’s go champ”.
The cheering fans were pushed to the sides by security to make way for his wife to drive the car through the middle and into the building.
Messi was born in Rosario and also began his football career with the city’s Newell’s Old Boys.
Messi and his family moved to Barcelona in 2001 when he was 13 years old and it was at the Spanish club that he made his name as one of the greatest players in the world.
Messi was born in Rosario, which is also the city where he started his football career
The star, who is now in Paris Saint-Germain, still travels regularly to Rosario and his home, which is located on a private estate called Kentucky in Funes.
Built on three adjoining plots in a gated private estate on the outskirts of the footballer’s hometown of Rosario, the monster estate has a huge cinema, gym and underground garage with enough space for 15 cars.
It was a special moment for the people of Argentina, and especially in Rosario who had longed for Messi to follow in Diego Maradona’s footsteps and make their first World Cup appearance since 1986.
Argentina’s World Cup winners had to be evacuated by helicopter after their homecoming parade in Buenos Aires was halted due to safety concerns.
Lionel Messi and company received a standing ovation from more than four million fans at a parade to celebrate their victory over France in the final.
But when it became apparent that people were jumping off bridges to lower themselves on top of the bus and others to the ground making it impossible for the bus to continue on its way, the show was quickly abandoned.
The open bus show in Argentina had to be cut as the government intervened on safety
Players were evacuated on helicopters after it became apparent that their bus journey had been interrupted
More than four million people turned out in Buenos Aires to celebrate their World Cup heroes
The players were showing off the World Cup in the sun before getting on the helicopters
One video that appeared on social media showed a man dangling from a bridge before jumping onto the upper deck of a bus, despite several players wagging their fingers and urging him not to.
Lionel Scaloni and his players arrived in the early hours of Tuesday morning, but by 4pm, with more than four million people partying in the streets, the bus show was delayed.
And the president of the Argentine Football Association, Chiqui Tapia, wrote on Twitter: “They will not allow us to salute everyone who was in the obelisk.
“The security organizations that were accompanying us will not allow us to continue. I apologize on behalf of all the players. A real shame.
The bus was slowly making its way towards the Obelisk Monument in the center of Buenos Aires, on the Plaza de la República.
But the government intervened and urged Messi and his partners to take to the skies in helicopters to complete their journey for safety reasons.
Argentina’s players traveled the streets of Buenos Aires in an open parade
Millions of jubilant supporters gathered across Buenos Aires for the celebration
Argentina fans were hoping to catch a glimpse of their World Cup-winning heroes on Tuesday
Lionel Messi tried to get millions of fans to celebrate by recording on his phone
In the city, a mural of Diego Maradona, whom Messi emulated by winning the World Cup, appears
The party started in the darkness of a Tuesday morning, but continued all day
After news of the final closing of the bus parade, the mood among the spectators briefly turned ugly, with reports of missiles being thrown at the police.
Footage also appeared on social media of a group of fans hijacking a police car and celebrating on top of it near the obelisk after the helicopter announcement.
Before turning to the skies, some players donned bucket hats for sun protection while others chose to don some sunglasses and grab a beer as their convertible bus cruised the busy streets.
The official account of the Argentine national team on Twitter, which returned to the country in the early hours of Tuesday morning from Qatar carrying the World Cup, had earlier urged the fans to be ‘peaceful’ during the parade due to the large crowds.
“It is important for everyone to move calmly towards that area to enjoy this unforgettable moment with the world champions in peace,” the account wrote on Twitter.
Images of the assembled fans watched them take over the highways and many avenues of the city as millions upon millions turned out to celebrate.
Messi and Argentina earlier returned as champions as thousands of fans greeted them at Ezeiza International Airport after they landed in Buenos Aires.
Argentina twice took the lead in the final through goals from Messi and Ángel Di Maria but with just minutes to go in extra time, France won a penalty – duly dispatched by Kylian Mbappe to take the final to penalties where Emiliano Martinez’s brilliance in goal sealed victory for the Argentines. Sunday.
The national team and the World Cup, which lifted them for the third time on Sunday, returned to Argentina after a journey of about 21 hours at around 2.20am local time on Tuesday morning.
Argentina received a hero’s welcome after returning from Qatar as world champions
Argentina’s players celebrated on an open-top bus after landing at Buenos Aires Airport
Fans lined the streets near the airport to welcome the Argentine World Cup winners
Messi and Argentina stars returned as heroes when they landed at Ezeiza International Airport
Captain Messi embraced the World Cup as the Argentines returned home after their victory
Manager Lionel Scaloni (R) wrapped his arm around the star as the fans saluted
Talisman Messi exited the plane first and lifted the World Cup triumphantly into the air as he and coach Lionel Scaloni climbed the steps to salute the waiting fans.
The Paris Saint-Germain star, with his medal around his neck, could not keep the jubilant smile from his face as he enjoyed the homecoming.
Messi and his teammates came close to falling from the back of the exposed bus shortly after their arrival.
The video shows Messi and four teammates, including Leandro Paredes and Di Maria, having to duck under an overhead power cable at the last second as they drive slowly through a sea of jubilant Argentine fans.
Messi scored twice during the World Cup Final at Lusail Stadium, to add to his tally of seven goals for the tournament as he finally clinched the only trophy he has so far escaped throughout his sensational career.
Scaloni, who burst into tears after Gonzalo Montiel scored the winning penalty, wrapped his arm around his captain as the two waved to their greeters on the stand.
Once the players disembarked from their plane, they headed straight to an open-top bus that was waiting for them on the tarmac to take them to the Argentine Football Association headquarters.
#Lionel #Messi #received #heros #return #home #birthplace #Rosario