When news got out that Lionel Messi was dining at the Don Julio restaurant late Monday night, hundreds of enraged football fans flocked to Palermo’s posh Buenos Aires neighborhood. In a mad rush to catch sight of the man who guided Argentina to its third World Cup victory, patrons flocked to the upscale restaurant. Messi required a police escort while leaving. The song “Muchachos” which became the unofficial anthem for the Argentina team that defeated France in a thrilling final in Qatar, was sung by fans on the street corner.
Messi fever has firmly taken hold, reminding people of what happened after Maradona raised the World Cup in Mexico 36 years ago. The late Diego Maradona, who led Argentina to its second World Cup victory in 1986, has now been compared to Messi. Messi is now unable to move around the streets of Argentina without being followed, Maradona, the then-captain, had to also deal with followers who followed him everywhere in an effort to grab a picture or a signature. The sight seen in the neighborhood of the nation’s capital, known for its clubs and restaurants, is evidence of this.
Once, many Argentina fans who blamed Messi for the nation’s failures in prior tournaments were indifferent and even apathetic toward the guy who is now applauded everywhere he goes. The man is frequently referred to as the best footballer in the world.
The amount of Admiration Towards Messi by his Fans
On Monday night, so many people were there that police officers had to show up at the restaurant to accompany Messi, 35, to his car while preventing supporters from approaching. Social media posts of pictures and videos captured the fervor of the supporters, who appeared ready to do anything to meet and touch the Paris Saint-Germain player. He could hear people saying, “Messi, I love you,” and “Thank you, Leo,” as he was led from the establishment.
Lionel Scaloni, Argentina’s head coach, praised the Messi craze that has spread over Buenos Aires and the rest of the country. Messi arrived in Argentina on Monday in anticipation of a friendly match against Panama on Thursday in Buenos Aires as part of Argentina’s celebration of winning the World Cup. The 63,000 seats that were available were quickly occupied.
Security officials are keeping quiet about the team’s route to the stadium for fear that spectators will obstruct traffic, which would then prevent the players from getting there. There are reports that the athletes might fly in a helicopter.
Due to the overwhelming number of spectators, a celebratory open-top bus tour of the city that was planned for when the team won the World Cup in December had to be canceled. The admiration Messi is getting contrasts dramatically with the animosity many French club supporters have for the Argentine player during this uncertain moment for his future at PSG.
Just before he was congratulated in Buenos Aires, PSG fans yelled at the World Cup winner, holding him accountable for the team’s 2-0 loss to Rennes. after his June 30th contract expiration. Messi has not yet made clear his future plans. While the team gets ready to play Curaçao in another exhibition game on March 28 in Argentina’s central Santiago del Estero region, he will continue to enjoy the admiration of Argentine fans for the time being.