Messi scores a hat trick on his birthday
Messi received birthday wishes from the entire audience as he took part in his former teammates’ farewell match.
On the evening of June 24th, Messi participated in Maxi Rodriguez’s farewell match, a friendly game between Newell’s Old Boys and generations of Argentine national team players, on his 36th birthday. When he stepped onto the Marcelo Bielsa Stadium in Rosario, approximately 42,000 spectators chanted Messi’s name and celebrated his birthday.
In the fourth minute, Messi scored the first goal from a free kick. In the second goal, the World Cup 2022 champion chipped the ball over the goalkeeper’s head. Afterward, the two players embraced and laughed. Messi completed his hat trick in the first half. He controlled a lofted pass and executed a volley into the net.
The match also featured Angel Di Maria, Leandro Paredes, Maxi Rodriguez, Lionel Scaloni, Gabriel Batistuta, and many other former Argentine football legends. Batistuta scored a penalty goal.
Maxi Rodriguez played alongside Messi in the World Cups of 2006, 2010, and 2014. The former Atletico and Liverpool star was also the recipient of the FIFA World Cup 2006’s Best Goal award. Maxi Rodriguez began and ended his career at Newell’s Old Boys, the club where Messi spent his youth. The 42-year-old midfielder scored 195 goals in 670 club matches and 16 goals in 57 appearances for the Argentine national team.
“It’s been a long time since I celebrated my birthday in Rosario,” Messi said. “This is also my first birthday after winning the World Cup. It’s truly special.”
Messi also expressed gratitude to past generations of Argentine players. He believed that they had been unfortunate but deserved to win titles with the national team. “As I’ve said before, it was our turn to become world champions, but behind us were millions of impressive players,” Messi stated. “They achieved many incredible things with the national team, aside from not winning any Cups.”
Argentina had been trophyless from 1993 to 2021. After that, Messi and his teammates satisfied the fans’ thirst by winning three consecutive titles: the Copa America 2021, the Continental Super Cup 2022, and the World Cup 2022.
Messi’s contract with PSG ends on June 30th. He is preparing to join the new club, Inter Miami, in the Major League Soccer (MLS). On June 24th, Inter Miami lost 1-4 to the Philadelphia Union. They continue to sit at the bottom of the MLS Eastern Conference, with five wins and 13 losses. Even with Messi, their last-place position may make it difficult for Inter Miami to reach the playoffs. On July 21st, Messi may make his debut for Inter Miami in a friendly match against the Mexican club, Cruz Azul.
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