As the Argentina team arrived back to their country as champions of the world, celebrations are well underway for Lionel Messi and his side.
After 36 years of hurt and anger, they finally claimed their third World Cup after defeating France in a penalty shoot-out in a thrilling contest.
On a special day for Argentina, the player that the world was greatly anticipating to lift the trophy was Messi. Having conquered football at club level, Messi has now captured the trophy that escaped his grasp-the World Cup.
After coming so close in 2014, Messi's relationship with the national side has been somewhat complicated. International retirements and a poor 2018 World Cup didn't help, while he has been constantly compared to the late great Diego Maradona.
However, since Lionel Scaloni took over as manager, Messi has been key to their turnaround in fortunes. Argentina were on a 36 game unbeaten run coming into the competition, with Messi key to their run that included the Copa America triumph last year.
Messi once again produced his magic in the tournament, and scored two goals for Argentina in an end-to-end thriller.
As of now, it's unclear what the future holds for Messi and his international career. If one thing is certain, he will enjoy every last second of the celebrations he worked so hard to create.
The scenes in Argentina today were incredible, as millions of people gathered to watch their side come home as world champions. Football is more than a game for the people of Argentina, and it was shown with their support for the side in Qatar.
The team arrived into the country in the early hours of the morning, as Lionel Messi and his side got on a coach with thousands of fans waiting along the street to greet them.
Alongside his teammates on the top of the bus, Messi narrowly avoided colliding with a overhead cable, as they ducked down just in time.
🔸Rodrigo De Paul, Leo Messi, Di Maria, Otamendi, Paredes and the world cup were inches away from falling off the bus due to the overhead cables.
🔸Luckily, they ducked in time and only Leandro Paredes' cap fell. pic.twitter.com/oznM488rx2
— infosfcb (@infosfcb) December 20, 2022
Nicolas Otamendi, Rodrigo De Paul, Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes were alongside him, in what was a close call for the group.