Argentina Football Association Renames National Team Headquarters After Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is getting his name on an important building…

The 35-year-old Argentine soccer star has been honored by the Argentina Football Association who have renamed the national team’s headquarters after him.

Lionel MessiMessi, who captained Argentina as they lifted the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, has made 173 appearances for the Albiceleste since making his debut in 2005.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward, along with Argentina FA president Claudio Tapia and national team manager Lionel Scaloni, unveiled a plaque outside the Albiceleste’s training center on Saturday.

Lionel Messi“We experienced a historic day in our Casa de Ezeiza, which from today will be renamed Lionel Andres Messi, in tribute to the best player in the world,” Tapia tweeted.

Argentina’s headquarters are located in Ezeiza, which is 40 minutes away from the Buenos Aires city center.

Messi, who scored his 800th career goal in Thursday’s 2-0 friendly win over Panama, was moved by the recognition.

“I’ve been coming here for 20 years, and I have always felt a very special energy,” the former Barcelona star said. “This is very exciting for me. I’m very happy. It’s a very, very special recognition.

“This place is something sensational. Even at the worst times, which I’ve had very bad moments, I would go in and forget everything. I would arrive and feel happy for being in this place and I still feel it. That’s why today I feel very happy that, after so long, this is going to bear my name.”

Messi had lost three straight finals with Argentina before lifting the Copa America in 2021 after defeating bitter rivals Brazil in the title game.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was sensational in Qatar and was voted the player of the tournament after his seven goals and three assists in seven appearances helped Argentina win their first world title in 36 years.

“I think that the tributes have to be done while one is alive, and this is a very special recognition for what this place means,” Messi said. “That it [training centre] bears my name is something very nice.”

Messi, who is one strike shy of scoring his 100th international goal with Argentina, will be back in action with the Albiceleste in Tuesday’s international friendly against Curacao.

Lionel Messi Breaks Diego Maradona’s World Cup Goals Count

It’s one down, one to go(al) for Lionel Messi.

The 35-year-old Argentine soccer star and national team captain broke Diego Maradona‘s World Cup goals tally in Argentina’s 2-1 round-of-16 win against Australia on Saturday.

Lionel Messi,Messi equaled Maradona’s eight World Cup goals in Argentina’s previous game against Mexico, scoring from distance to set the Albiceleste on their way to a 2-0 win.

He surpassed the 1986 World Cup winner — and Guillermo Stabile, who scored eight times at the 1930 World Cup — with his ninth goal at the tournament on Saturday.

The landmark effort came in the 35th minute, giving Argentina a 1-0 lead, after he collected a layoff and expertly side-footed the ball low into the net with his famed left foot.

The goal was Messi’s first in the World Cup knockout stages and came on the occasion of his 1,000th game for club and country.

Messi had a chance to overtake Maradona in Argentina’s final group stage game against Poland but missed a first-half penalty. Argentina went on to top the group after a 2-0 win.

Messi is now one goal away from Gabriel Batistuta‘s record of 10 goals for Argentina, scored at the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

Messi scored on his World Cup debut in 2006, coming off the bench against Serbia and Montenegro in the group stage before rounding off a 6-0 victory for his side.

He failed to score entirely in the 2010 World Cup, however, as an Argentina side managed by Maradona reached the quarterfinals but lost 4-0 against Germany.

The forward enjoyed a far more prolific 2014 tournament, scoring four times in Argentina’s first three games as he helped them to the final — where they were beaten by Germany.

He scored just once at the 2018 finals in Russia — against Nigeria in the group stage — and has now netted in all of Argentina’s group games in Qatar.

Maradona’s World Cup goals came in the 1982 (2), 1986 (5) and 1994 (1) tournaments. His finest moment came in the 1986 finals in Mexico, where he led Argentina to their last World Cup triumph.

Messi is Argentina’s all-time top scorer with 94 goals in 169 appearances for the national team since making his debut in 2005. Maradona scored 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina from 1977-1994.

Lionel Messi Photo with Copa America Trophy Now Most-Liked Sports Photo on Instagram 

Lionel Messi is the new IG sports image king…

An Instagram photo of the 34-year-old Argentine professional footballer holding the Copa America trophy following Argentina’s win over Brazil has become the most liked sports photo on the social media platform, surpassing a record 20 million likes.

Lionel Messi  

Messi celebrated his first major title with Argentina as the Albiceleste lifted the Copa America trophy after a 1-0 win over Brazil at the Maracana Stadium on July 10.

Messi posted the picture with the caption: “What a beautiful madness! This is unbelievable! Thank you, God! We are the champions!”

The post broke the previous record of 19.8 million likes that was held by Cristiano Ronaldo after he paid tribute to Diego Maradona following his death.

Ronaldo shared a black and white photograph of himself with Maradona and wrote: “Today I’m saying goodbye to a friend and the world is saying goodbye to an eternal genius. One of the best of all-time. An unparalleled magician. He leaves too soon, but he leaves a legacy without limits and an emptiness that will never be filled. Rest in peace, ace. You will never be forgotten.”

Messi, a six-time Ballon d’Or winner, was voted the top player of the Copa America after his four goals and five assists in the competition.

The Argentina captain is expected to sign a new contract with Barcelona soon.

Lionel Messi Becomes Argentina’s Most-Capped Player

Lionel Messi is Argentina’s player with the mostest…

The 34-year-old Argentine professional footballer became Argentina‘s most-capped player on Monday when he captained the Albiceleste in their 4-1 win over Bolivia at the Copa America.

Lionel Messi

The Barcelona star has now turned out 148 times for his country, moving him ahead of former Barca teammate Javier Mascherano, who had 147 caps.

Ex-Inter Milan defender Javier Zanetti held the record before Mascherano and completes the podium with 143 international appearances.

With 75 goals for Argentina, Messi is also his country’s all-time leading scorer, having moved past Gabriel Batistuta (54 goals) in 2016.

Sergio Aguero, who won his 100th international cap against Bolivia, is third in the rankings with 42 goals.

Messi, who turned 34 last week, has won everything in the game at club level but is yet to taste success in senior international football.

He won the Under-20 World Cup in 2005 and an Olympic gold medal with Argentina’s U23s in 2008, but has lost four major finals with the first team.

With Messi in the side, Argentina were beaten by Germany in the 2014 World Cup final and have lost at the last stage in the Copa America in 2007, 2015 and 2016.

As Messi focuses on winning a first major trophy with his country this summer, his future at Barca remains unresolved.

His contract with the club expires on Wednesday and if a new deal is not agreed upon before then, he officially becomes a free agent on Thursday.

However, Barca are working hard to reach an agreement over a new contract and are confident he will extend his 20-year relationship with the club.

Messi Returning to Play for Argentina’s National Team In Time for World Cup Qualifiers

It’s a welcome change of heart for Lionel Messi

The 29-year-old has announced his return to Argentina’s national team for their World Cup qualifiers in September, ending his short-lived retirement from international football.

Lionel Messi

Messi called it quits after missing a penalty in the shootout defeat to Chile in this summer’s Copa America Centenario final — the third consecutive loss for Argentina in a major final.

“I see that there are a lot of problems in Argentina football and I don’t want to create more,” Messi, who was included in the Albiceleste‘s 18-man squad to face Uruguay and Venezuela, said in a statement on Friday. “I don’t want to cause harm, on the contrary, my goal was to help in any way I could.”

Messi, who is Argentina’s all-time leading scorer with 55 goals in 113 appearances, made reference to federation problems a few days before the Copa final, saying the AFA, Argentine football’s governing body, was “a disaster” after the team suffered delayed flights and experienced problems finding opponents for training games.

“There are many things that need to be fixed in Argentine football. But I prefer to help from inside rather than stand on the outside and criticize,” the statement continued.

“A lot of things ran through my head on the day of the [Copa America] final. And I seriously considered leaving the team. But I love my shirt and my country too much.

“I want to thank all the fans who wanted me to keep playing for Argentina. I hope we can give them joy very soon.”

With the CONMEBOL deadline to name the squads for September’s World Cup qualifiers looming on Friday, newly-appointed Argentina manager Edgardo Bauza had expressed confidence Messi would change his mind and opt to return to the team, and that belief was rewarded with Messi’s confirmation later in the day.

Bauza, who took over as national team coach after the resignation of Gerardo Martino last month, had flown to Spain to meet Argentina players in Barcelona on Thursday and reassure them there would be order in the national team despite ongoing chaos in the football federation.

He said he didn’t pressure Messi to reconsider his decision to retire from international duty and had “only talked football” with the striker, but claimed Messi wanted to return.

“There is no doubt in my mind that he wants to return to play for the national team,” Bauza told reporters in Argentina. “I saw him with a great desire to return.”

Argentina are preparing for September qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela after crashing out in the group stage of the Olympics for the first time since 1964.

The federation, which had been led by Julio Grondona since the 1970s, has been in turmoil since his death in 2014.

In June, FIFA stepped in and named a committee to run its daily affairs, with a stipulation that elections must be held by July 2017.

Argentina legend Diego Maradona claimed the chaos within the federation was institutional and that Messi had been right to comment on it.