Lionel Messi scored his 800th career goal with a freekick in the Argentina vs Panama game at the River Plate Stadium. Manager Lionel Scaloni led the chants before the match when the FIFA World Cup 2022 trophy was presented in Buenos Aires.
Argentina, ahead of kick off on Thursday, presented the Qatar World Cup trophy in their home stadium. Fans were elated and so was Scaloni. All chanted Lionel Messi’s name.
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The 35-year-old did not disappoint them. He struck a brilliant free-kick goal in the final minutes of the game. Thiago Almada gave Argentina the lead with his maiden national goal in his third appearance for the side. The home team won 2-0.
Messi scores his 800th goal with this wonderful free kick. 🐐
— All About Argentina 🛎🇦🇷 (@AlbicelesteTalk) March 24, 2023
Even Lionel Scaloni joined in the chants for Lionel Messi 😂 pic.twitter.com/Z447IKhY6P
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 24, 2023
Now, Messi is the second football player to score 800 career goal. Cristiano Ronaldo achieved the feat in 2021 when he scored a brace for Manchester United, vs Arsenal at Old Trafford.
Messi, coach Scaloni and other players came on the pitch with their children a the national anthem was sung. It was an emotional moment for the 83,000 odd fans in the stadium.
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Panama had a weakened side. However, they managed to frustrate Argentina before Almada broke the shackles in the 78th minute. The Atlanta United player was a second-half substitute. He collected Messi’s deflected freekick to get himself on the goal sheet. The home team held on to 75% possession through the 90 minutes of play.
In the 89th minute, Messi was given his fifth freekick of the match. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner nailed a curl shot to seal the game.
Messi has 778 appearances across national and club football. He represented Barcelona for 17 seasons, scoring 672 times. He then moved to Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint Germain, where the Argentine has scored 29 goals so far.