The reception for Lionel Messi on his return to Rosario is out of this world, he was moved


The reception for Lionel Messi on his return to Rosario is out of this world, he was moved

Lionel Messi was given a heroes welcome by 40,000 fans at the Estadio Coloso Del Parque Marcelo Bielsa – the home of boyhood club Newell's Old Boys – on his 36th birthday.

For the first time in 14 years, Messi was back at Newell's famous stadium in Rosario for the testimonial of former Argentina teammate Maxi Rodriguez.

The 36-year-old forward, who recently signed a deal with MLS side Inter Miami, went on to score a first-half hat-trick that included a wonderful free-kick in the third minute.

But before performing his usual-heroics on the pitch, Messi was given a reception like no other on his arrival, featuring fireworks, a chant of happy birthday from the crowd and more.

As you can see in the footage below, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner was clearly moved by the unfolding events on Saturday night.

 After what was a truly memorable welcome from the Rosario crowd, Messi went on to delight them even further by doing what he does best; score goals.

The recently-crowned world champion, who played in the Newell academy before moving to Barcelona at 13, bagged a trademark free-kick after delicately chipping the ball over the opposition wall.

He then chipped in for his second before netting his hat-trick with 42 minutes played.

"It had been a long time since I had spent a birthday in Rosario, with my family and my friends," Messi told ESPN Argentina.

"Although what we did is something special (winning the World Cup) and unique, the dream of every footballer... you're thinking about what's to come, more than what you did.

"When it's my turn to leave football, I'm going to remember and enjoy everything I've achieved much more."

 Back in February, before his move to Inter Miami was agreed upon this summer, former Argentina teammate Sergio Aguero suggested he was "seriously considering" the possibility of playing for Newell's.

Maxi Rodriguez, meanwhile, had to step in before Aguero revealed too much, saying: "Kun is Kun. He can't keep quiet. We will see.

"It is hard to talk about this because then a giant ball of rumours is made. Let's wait and see what happens. We will not get ahead of the facts."

Rodriguez came through the ranks at Newell's and had three separate spells with the Rosario outfit, ending his career with them in 2021.

Messi also has ties with the Argentine club but whether he will play for them one last time is yet to be known.

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