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Lionel Messi: Argentine legend gets a rousing reception at boyhood club, scores hattrick

Lionel Messi got a hero’s welcome when he visited his boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys stadium to commemorate the exhibition match of Argentine legend and former teammate Maxi Rodriguez’s retirement. Coincidentally, he was also celebrating his 36th birthday as he scored a flashy first half hattrick wearing the Argentina shirt, thus enjoying the perfect weekend getaway.

Lionel Messi greeted with a perfect gesture in hometown

Lionel Messi, the ultimate “Greatest of All time” as quoted by legendary commentator Peter Drury after he reached his “final peak”, scored a stunning first half hattrick while wearing the World Champions shirt. He was greeted warmly by the fans in his hometown as Messi, along with several other Argentina icons like Angel Di Maria, Gabriel Batistuta took part in the exhibition match celebrating Maxi’s retirement.

The match ended in favor of Messi’s old club Newell’s Old Boys 7-5. Although the match was organized for Maxi, it was Messi who orchestrated the game throughout as he opened the scoring on the fourth minute of the game with a sumptuous free-kick, before scoring a chip after the 30-minute mark. The raucous fans were waiting patiently for their hero as the Inter Miami player completed his hattrick with a stunning volley just before the half-time whistle, thus celebrating his birthday in style.

“It had been a long time”

Messi, after the game was heard speaking about his perfect birthday weekend. He said, “It had been a long time since I had spent a birthday in Rosario, with my family and my friends. ” Talking about the special and heavenly feeling after winning the World Cup, he said, “As I said at the time: it was our turn to be world champions, but behind us were millions of impressive players who did many great things with the National Team, beyond the fact that they did not raise a cup.”

Speaking on his stellar career, he further added, “Although what we did is something special and unique, the dream of every footballer… you’re thinking about what’s to come, more than what you did. When it’s my turn to leave football, I’m going to remember and enjoy everything I’ve achieved much more.”

Messi had rose to prominence through the ranks of Newell’s Old Boys after he spent five years in the club as a youngster, before signing his contract for Barcelona in 2000, famously agreeing to join the club after signing on a paper napkin.

Formerly, in 2020, Messi paid a tribute to Argentina superstar Diego Maradona flaunting the Newell’s Old Boys shirt after the legend passed away, as he did his trademark celebration of pointing towards the sky after hitting the back of the net for Barcelona. Maradona had spent a year at Newell’s Old Boys after leaving Sevilla in 1993.

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