Messi forced to duck for cover during World Cup parade (VIDEO)


Players arrived back in Argentina to show off the trophy on Tuesday

Lionel Messi and his Argentina teammates had a close shave in Buenos Aires while celebrating their World Cup triumph.

Making their way to the headquarters of the Argentine Football Association (AFA) on an open-top bus, Messi and teammates Leandro Paredes, Angel Di Maria, Rodrigo De Paul, and Nicolas Otamendi were forced to dodge an upcoming hazard as they were almost clotheslined by electric wiring which commonly runs across streets in South America.

Of the quintet, Paredes came out worse and lost his cap in the clip that was shared by ESPN Argentina and has been seen more than 1 million times.

The item is sure to have become a treasured piece of memorabilia by one of the thousands in attendance that were there to catch a glimpse of the players who have etched their name into Argentine football folklore.

Messi and his Argentina teammates received a heroes’ welcome from the airport in Buenos Aires after their dramatic third World Cup win in Qatar.

The Albiceleste led defending champions France 2-0 before Kylian Mbappe equalized through a 97-second brace with 10 minutes to spare.

Messi put Argentina ahead again on 108 minutes in extra time, but Mbappe leveled with a late penalty to force a shootout that Messi’s men won 4-2 thanks to the heroics of charismatic goalkeeper Emi Martinez.

The Argentina team landed home at Ezeiza International Airport at around 2:20 am local time early on Tuesday morning after a 21-hour flight which stopped to refuel in Rome.

To the delight of the crowd, seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi first emerged from the plane with the World Cup trophy in tow, which he lifted aloft.

He and head coach Lionel Scaloni waved to the masses and were joined by other men of the hour such as goalscorer Di Maria, who doubled Argentina’s lead 13 minutes after a Messi penalty put them ahead on 23 minutes, and goalkeeper Martinez, who had a hearty reception.

The special open-top bus put on by the AFA, and which had “Champions of the World” written on its side, waited for the players on the tarmac.

After they had gotten on it, it ran through Buenos Aires which caused fans to flood to the streets of the capital to greet their heroes as fireworks filled the sky.

In one clip, thousands surround the vehicle as midfielder De Paul records and laps up the moment with his teammates showing off the trophy and waving to the masses.

A party atmosphere was also prevalent outside the AFA’s headquarters, as gathering fans beat drums and sang songs to mark their nation’s first World Cup since 1986, when Diego Maradona took them all the way in Mexico.

Many were seen wearing Messi’s number ‘10’ shirt in addition to that of Maradona.

READ MORE: Argentina goes wild after World Cup glory (VIDEO)

Later on Tuesday, Argentina’s players are expected to take the trophy on a tour of Buenos Aires and to hotspots such as the iconic Obelisk landmark in the city center, where it is said a million people gathered after Sunday’s triumph.

The squad members had already started the party in the changing rooms of the Lusail Stadium and continued it on the plane back to South America.

As shown on an Instagram video shared by left back Nicolas Tagliafico, the players have now changed the lyrics to the terrace chant ‘Muchachos’ (‘Boys’) and sang it with gusto while playing a drum and a cymbal.

The song once spoke of the dream to land a third title, but now that has been done, its words now read: “The final with Germany [in 2014], I cried for 8 years, but that’s over. Because this year in Qatar, the final with the French, Daddy won it again. 

“Boys! Now all that remains is to celebrate, we already won the third [title], we are already world champions! 

“And we tell Diego to rest in peace, with Don Diego and La Tota (Maradona’s parents), for the whole eternity.” 

Though Messi will likely not be around to try and win a fourth title given he has already turned 35, he has vowed to continue playing for Argentina as a world champion and may make their defense of the Copa America in 2024 considering his generational rival Cristiano Ronaldo featured at Qatar 2022 as a 37-year-old.

Scaloni has left the door open to Messi and said he “should have a place in the next World Cup”. “If he wants to continue playing, the ‘10’ will always be his,” the manager added after the win against France.

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