Lionel Messi gave an emotional speech after an international friendly game against Panama, celebrating his 800th career goal and the Albiceleste’s World Cup win. Surrounded by his teammates holding replicas of the World Cup trophy, Messi thanked the people of Argentina for their support throughout his football journey. The Paris Saint-Germain star expressed his gratitude for the love shown to the team, not only for their World Cup win but also for the Copa America. He stated that they did everything possible to achieve their goal and lift the trophy in front of their home crowd.
Messi acknowledged the efforts of all the players who had worn Argentina’s iconic blue stripes before him, emphasizing that they too had given everything for the shirt. He implored his team and the fans to enjoy the moment as they did not know when they would experience it again. He joked that they hoped it wouldn’t be as many years until the next World Cup win. The Argentine icon admitted that winning the World Cup is not an easy feat and depends on multiple factors.
Messi cemented his national hero status after leading Argentina to victory in Qatar in December 2022. He cannot reveal his presence in Argentina without attracting huge crowds of fans, with a recent family dinner ending with the No. 10 being escorted by local police through an enormous throng of fans. Speaking to TyC Sports after his speech, Messi expressed gratitude for the beautiful opportunity to share the team’s success with their compatriots, acknowledging that the love of the people always makes him happy.
Messi admitted that the rush of winning the World Cup could be overwhelming and that he had urged his teammates to give themselves credit and take their victory seriously as time passes. He also stated that the reward was more significant because of past frustrations. Messi recalled coming to play in Argentina and struggling because things did not work out, thinking often about the lost finals. He credited God for being the one in charge and choosing the moment when they would succeed.
Messi’s 800th goal was a beautiful free-kick at the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires, making him just 34 goals behind the all-time record goalscorer, Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi soaked up the crowd’s appreciation for achieving this milestone figure, stating that it was challenging to explain what it felt like. The speech ended with Messi showing off the World Cup trophy to the fans and urging them to enjoy the moment as they deserved it.
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