Argentina star player Lionel Messi celebrated his 36th birthday in a very memorable way. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, who successfully guided Argentina to victory in the FIFA World Cup 2022 in December last year, played a match for his Argentinian club Newell’s Old Boys on Saturday. This match was also a farewell game to Messi’s former Argentina teammate Maxi Rodriguez, who played his last game for Newell’s Old Boys. Ahead of the match, the entire crowd at Rosario gave a grand welcome to Messi and welcomed him back to his home ground.
A majestic lightshow was held, filled with fireworks and a warm cheering from the crowd was like the cherry on the cake. The entire stadium was beautifully decorated was the Argentina captain and the fans carried the banners of Messi.
LIONEL ANDRÉS MESSI, PRESENTE EN LA DESPEDIDA DE MAXI RODRÍGUEZ: INFERNAL RECIBIMIENTO PARA EL HOMBRE QUE CAMBIÓ LA HISTORIA DEL DEPORTE.
— SportsCenter (@SC_ESPN) June 24, 2023
“It had been a long time since I had spent a birthday in Rosario, with my family and my friends,” Messi was quoted as saying by ESPN Argentina.
“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,” he added.
Messi was in Rosario to take part in former Argentina and Liverpool midfielder Maxi Rodriguez’s testimonial.
Messi scored a hat-trick in the first half, in what was Rodriguez’s testimonial game, at the Marcelo Bielsa Stadium. The World Cup winner marked his 36th birthday with a stunning free-kick to open the scoring.
Messi buries a free-kick for Argentina against Newell’s after just 3 minutes at Maxi Rodriguez’s testimonial pic.twitter.com/0dfVyiytL0
— Newell’s Old Boys – English (@Newells_en) June 24, 2023
The match was played between Argentina and Newell’s Old Boys. Several current and former players participated in the match, including Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni.
Newell’s won the match 7-5 in the end.
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