This week marks the first international break since the World Cup festivities concluded in December in Qatar and by no surprise, title-holders Argentina got a warm welcome, especially PSG superstar Lionel Messi.
On Monday night, the legend went out for dinner in Buenos Aires but was absolutely swarmed by fans who were doing anything and everything to get near Messi. Take a look:
Lionel Messi gets a ton of love from Argentina fans when he got out to get dinner 🤍💙
(via vickybianchi1/IG) pic.twitter.com/hzoCgoZQEU
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 21, 2023
They were even chanting his name outside of the restaurant:
The scenes in Argentina outside a restaurant where Messi was having dinner at 🇦🇷
— All About Argentina 🛎🇦🇷 (@AlbicelesteTalk) March 21, 2023
The craziest part is Messi barely looks fazed. You can see the grin on his face. That's just how much he loves his country and its supporters.
The 35-year-old was an Argentine icon before the World Cup, especially following La Albiceleste's Copa America win in 2021. But once he took them to the top of international football for the first time since Maradona did it in 1986, Lionel Messi saw his fame grow even more in the country.
The striker opened eyes across the globe in Qatar, winning the Golden Ball after bagging seven goals and tallying three assists in seven appearances, basically solidifying his status as the GOAT over Cristiano Ronaldo.
Monday wasn't the first time Argentina fans went crazy for their football team. Over 1 million people flooded the streets of the capital for the World Cup parade, with things getting so out of hand that Messi and Co. had to be airlifted from their bus:
Argentina’s parade was cut short due to massive crowds, and players had to leave their bus to fly over Buenos Aires by helicopter instead pic.twitter.com/4B3RB1YG4O
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 20, 2022
Passion or just downright insane? You be the judge. Lionel Messi and Argentina will face Panama in a friendly on Thursday in Buenos Aires, their first match since lifting the World Cup in the Middle East.