‘Forgive us… it’s hard to see everyone’: Lionel Messi sends public apology to hometown locals after being crowned ‘Distinguished Citizen’ after World Cup win… while trying to enjoy time off and avoid being overwhelmed by adoring fans
- Lionel Messi received a ‘Distinguished Citizen’ plaque for his heroics at the World Cup
- Messi captained Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar just nine days ago
- The striker is back in Rosario, Argentina celebrating with his loved ones.
The accolades keep pouring in for Lionel Messi and the Argentina talisman has been the recipient of yet another award after his World Cup heroism.
Messi captained his country to their third World Cup triumph, and first in 36 years, on December 18 after a dramatic 4-2 penalty shootout win over France following a heart-pounding 3-3 draw. after extra time, in which he scored twice.
The 35-year-old is currently back home celebrating with his loved ones in Rosario as Argentina rejoice in Lionel Scaloni’s side.
Lionel Messi (centre right) received a ‘Distinguished Citizen’ plaque for his World Cup glory
Messi then apologized to the Rosario locals for not celebrating too much in the public spotlight, instead choosing to rejoice with loved ones in private after Argentina’s World Cup triumph.
He scored twice as Argentina beat France to win the World Cup final in Qatar earlier this month.
Messimania has taken on a whole new meaning since Argentina’s success with the iconic number 10 being unable to leave his home, due to swaths of compatriots wishing to congratulate him.
However, the striker received the mayor of Funes, Roly Santacroce, at his home to collect a ‘Distinguished Citizen’ plaque for his exploits in the World Cup in Qatar.
And upon receiving the award, Messi had a special message for his supporters, thanking them and apologizing for not being so visibly public.
“Well, we wanted to send our greetings to all the people of Funes, Rosario in general,” he said.
‘We want to thank you for the love you have always shown us, especially now that I have just returned from the World Cup.
“Forgive us also because sometimes it is difficult to see everyone, we are with family and friends for a few days and sometimes it is complicated.”
Messi and his wife returned to their home in Funes, near Rosario, after Argentina’s World Cup victory to be greeted by hundreds of jubilant fans outside.
Argentina has been in a state of festive chaos since their World Cup triumph nine days ago.
In fact, the boisterous nature of the celebrations was such that a parade of open-top buses had to be abandoned after fans jumped off bridges.
Messi and Angel di Maria returned to their homes near Rosario by helicopter with the Paris Saint-Germain star later mobbed by fans as he drove home.
Video footage showed Messi’s car being swamped by fans as he returned home with his wife Antonella Roccuzzo from the abandoned victory parade in the capital Buenos Aires.
Argentina’s open-top bus parade had to be interrupted as the government intervened for security
More than four million people gathered in Buenos Aires to celebrate their World Cup heroes
The players were evacuated via helicopters after it became clear that their bus ride was halted.
Messi (left) boarded one with Angel di Maria (center) back to Rosario as a result of the chaos
Messi greets adoring fans as he holds up the World Cup during pandemonium in the capital
Messi tried to capture the millions of fans who were celebrating by recording on his phone
Messi was born in Rosario and it is also the city where he began his football career
Upon his arrival, Messi was greeted by hundreds of cheering fans chanting ‘Dale Campeon’ which translates as ‘Let’s go champion’.
Security had pushed jubilant fans to two sides to clear space for his wife to drive the car down the middle and into a building.
Messi is expected to spend Christmas with family and friends at his home in Funes, some 15 kilometers west of Rosario, before returning to PSG.
The French league leaders return to action against Strasbourg on December 28, but it is unclear if Messi will return in time.
Argentina received a hero’s welcome after returning home from Qatar as world champions
The Argentina players celebrated in an open-top bus after landing at the Buenos Aires airport.
Messi and the stars of Argentina returned as heroes upon landing at Ezeiza International Airport