Lionel Messi scores 800th goal of his career with stunning free kick for Argentina
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Lionel Messi has scored the 800th goal of his career with a stunning 89th-minute free-kick for Argentina.
The South American side took on Panama in their first game on home soil since winning the World Cup.
It was a thunderous reception for the world champions who were brought to tears as the national anthem played out before the game.
It was the same starting 11 that had played the famous World Cup final against France just a few months earlier.
The game was a tight affair in Buenos Aires with fans having to wait until the 78th minute before seeing their first goal.
That goal almost came courtesy of a free kick from the football GOAT as well, after he had hit the crossbar with Thiago Almada pouncing on the rebound.
The crowning moment of the game came in the 89th minute as the PSG player stepped up to attempt another free-kick at goal.
Messi scores his 800th goal with this wonderful free kick. 🐐— All About Argentina 🛎🇦🇷 (@AlbicelesteTalk) March 24, 2023
As he has done so many times before, the little magician walked and deftly slotted the ball over the wall and into the top corner of the net.
The Panama goalkeeper has no chance.
There was absolute pandemonium in the stands as their hero secured his 800th career goal for club and country.
It was also his 99th for Argentina.
It was the perfect way to celebrate the hero's return to Argentina and yet another indication of Lionel Messi’s greatness.
Even the Panama players were impressed as they lined up for photographs and photos with the icon after the final whistle.
All Panama players wanted a photo with Messi 😂♥️ pic.twitter.com/w0i9alRVHX— Sara 🦋 (@SaraFCBi) March 24, 2023
The Argentina legend had been moved to tears prior to the game after fans sang an incredibly moving version of the national anthem.
"That tribute was just amazing! well deserved for everyone! reigning Copa America, Finalissima and World Cup Champions!" said one fan.
"What a special feeling that must have been for those players and staff," added a second.
"Sheer Goosebumps moment!" noted a third.
One summed up the utter joy of the moment, poetically replying, "The most amazing scenes on Earth in Buenos Aires. International football remains the most beautiful, spine-tingling, special thing in the game."
"There are no words, just football," a fifth beautifully put it.
Featured Image Credit: @TV_Publica/Twitter.
Topics: Lionel Messi, Argentina, Football