Story by Oleen Ndori
WORLD champions, Argentina returned home in the early hours of Tuesday morning to a heroes’ welcome after conquering the world by defeating France in the World Cup final in Qatar on Sunday.
Having beaten France in Sunday’s thrilling final, the Argentina players led by captain, Lionel Messi will now spend the night at the Argentine Football Association (AFA) training complex after their arrival at the Ezeiza Airport in Buenos Aires, where thousands of supporters were waiting to greet them.
Messi, who scored twice in the final, was the first player to emerge from the plane, holding the World Cup aloft, with Coach Lionel Scaloni right behind him.
Forward Julian Alvarez, a revelation in Qatar with his four goals, was one of the next players out of the Aerolinas Argentinas Airbus A330.
A picture of Messi was emblazoned on the plane’s tail with the words: “one team, one country, one dream” on its side.
Excitement had been brewing since the party that began after Sunday’s final ahead of the players’ arrival.
Messi (35) finally crowned his record-breaking career with football’s biggest prize as he produced one of the greatest World Cup final performances, scoring a first-half penalty and netting again in extra time.
In doing so he emulated his predecessor as Argentina’s idol, Diego Maradona who inspired the country to their second world title with a series of match-winning displays at Mexico in 1986.