"Messi double hattrick", "World Champions" - Argentina fans overjoyed as Lionel Messi spearheads 'clean lineup' against Panama
Lionel Messi starts for Argentina in La Albiceleste's first game since becoming the 2022 FIFA World Cup champions in Qatar. Fans on Twitter foresee a masterclass from the Argentine ace.
Emi Martinez starts in goal for Lionel Scaloni's team. Nahuel Molina, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, and Nicolas Tagliafico form the back four. Enzo Fernandez, Alexis Mac Allister, and Rodrigo De Paul are the midfield three.
Messi starts with Julian Alvarez and Angel Di Maria in the attack. Fans are happy with the lineup as they predict Messi to once again reach the peak of his powers.
The Argentina captain has endured a difficult few weeks with his club side Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). Christophe Galtier's team were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 by Bayern Munich. The Parisians lost their final match before the international break as Messi received jeers from PSG fans.
However, the little magician's fans are confident that with his national team, Messi will once again find his mojo back. One fan wrote on Twitter:
"Messi double hattrick."
Another fan wrote:
"THE WORLD CHAMPIONS."
Here are some of the best reactions across Twitter as Lionel Messi starts for Argentina against Panama:
Lionel Scaloni provided an update on Lionel Messi's Argentina future
Lionel Messi played a starring role in Qatar as Argentina lifted the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He scored seven goals, including twice in the final. Messi also bagged three assists and was the winner of the Golden Ball.
However, given Messi is already 35, some are worried that the joy of watching him play for La Albiceleste might not last too long. Manager Lionel Scaloni was recently quizzed about Messi's international future.
Speaking to the media ahead of the game against Panama, Scaloni claimed that the choice is Messi's himself. He said (via 90min):
"Messi will continue to come until he says otherwise, I see him happy on the pitch and within the selection. Leo's looking good to me. He deserves all that love. He and all the players who are here deserve to go out and receive that love because they have not been able to live it."
Lionel Messi has so far made 172 appearances for his country, bagging an immense tally of 98 goals.