It wasn’t all a dream! Lionel Messi wakes up cuddling the World Cup trophy after Argentina returned home to wild celebrations in Buenos Aires following their dramatic win
- Lionel Messi posted a trio of Instagram pics showing him in bed with the trophy
- It followed a night of wild celebration as Argentina returned home victorious
- They paraded the World Cup through the streets of Buenos Aires on Monday
- Hundreds of thousands of fans welcomed them back following Qatar triumph
- WORLD CUP LIVE: Follow all the latest as Argentina celebrate their win
- Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results
Lionel Messi woke up alongside the World Cup following a night of wild celebrations as Argentina returned home.
The players were greeted by hundreds of thousands of adoring fans in Buenos Aires after they flew back from Qatar on Monday following their dramatic triumph over France.
But it seems Messi did eventually manage to get some shut-eye – alongside the glittering prize that many believed it was his destiny to win.
Lionel Messi woke up next to the World Cup trophy after Argentina returned home from Qatar to be greeted by hundreds of thousands of celebrating fans in Buenos Aires
Messi was all smiles as he cradled the trophy in bed the morning after the night’s big party
Messi cradled the famous gold trophy as he sipped a morning drink in his hotel room
He posted three images on Instagram of him tucked up alongside the gold trophy and captioned them simply: ‘Good Morning!’
The first snap showed Messi asleep next to the trophy, the second showed him sat up in bed and smiling while wearing a celebratory t-shirt with three stars to represent Argentina’s trio of World Cup triumphs.
And the third showed Messi enjoying a morning drink as he cuddled up to the trophy.
It seemed Messi had not let go of the trophy since Argentina touched down at Ezeiza International Airport at around 2.20am local time on Tuesday morning following a gruelling 21-hour return trip from Qatar.
Messi was the first to emerge from the plane and lifted the trophy up for the gathered fans to see before he and head coach Lionel Scaloni stepped off.
It was then onto an open-top bus to parade around the streets of the capital where hundreds of thousands of jubilant fans had gathered to welcome their heroes home.
Captain Messi holds the World Cup trophy on the bus after the team landed back in Argentina
Messi still clutched his glittering prize as he joined his teammates atop the champions’ bus
Captain Messi cradled the World Cup trophy as the Argentines returned home after their win
Messi and his teammates came close to being knocked off the back of their open-top bus shortly after arriving.
Video shows Messi and four teammates including Leandro Paredes and Di Maria being forced to duck under an overhead power cable at the last second as they drove slowly through a sea of jubilant Argentinian fans.
Messi scored twice during the World Cup final at the Lusail Stadium, adding to his total haul of seven for the tournament and finally clinched the one trophy that had so far evaded him throughout his sensational career.
Scaloni, who had burst into tears after Gonzalo Montiel slotted home the winning penalty, wrapped an arm around his captain as the pair waved to those greeting them on the tarmac.
Lionel Messi and Argentina returned as heroes as they landed at Ezeiza International Airport
Argentina were given a hero’s welcome after returning home from Qatar as world champions
Argentina’s players celebrated on an open-top bus after landing at Buenos Aires airport
The Argentinian squad landed in Argentina in the early hours of Tuesday morning
Messi was followed by his bleary-eyed teammates, including veteran Angel di Maria, whose strike had doubled Argentina’s lead in the first half of the final before France rallied.
Goalkeeper Martinez, whose dark arts during the penalty shootout sealed the victory, also received a warm welcome.
Despite the long-haul flight, the players were still in a jubilant mood as they waved to their adoring fans from the top of the bus, which read, ‘Champions of the World,’ on the side.
The champions’ bus crawled through the streets of Buenos Aires and fans flooded the streets to get a glimpse of their heroes.
Fireworks lit up the sky over the crowds, who were several rows deep, and music group ‘La Mosca’ played.
Supporters lined the streets near to the airport to welcome home Argentina’s World Cup winners
Thousands of fans greeted Argentina’s arrival back in Buenos Aires after winning the World Cup
The flight – with the World Cup trophy in tow and which left at 5am Argentina time – refuelled in Italian capital city Rome, before flying on to Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires.
In total there were two planes for the entourage of the champions, including players, coaches, staff and family members.
After landing, the jubilant players are expected to begin displaying the trophy to their adoring fans, including at the iconic Obelisk landmark in the centre of the Argentina capital.
Fans in the Argentine capital flooded the streets as they waited for the return of the World Cup winners.
Players (pictured Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes and Lautaro Martinez) wore special Adidas t-shirts for the occasion with three stars on the front for their three World Cup triumphs
The champions’ bus crawled through the Buenos Aires streets with crowd several rows deep
Despite the long-haul flight, the players were still in a jubilant mood as they waved to fans
Despite the flight’s late arrival, many stayed up to gather outside the headquarters of the Argentinian Football Association to greet the team.
They created a party atmosphere, playing drums and singing as they continued to celebrate their nation’s triumph on football’s greatest stage.
Many donned the national team’s jersey, in particular Messi’s No. 10, to welcome the players home.
Flags were draped and hung from any possible object, including vehicles, while a giant replica of the Jules Rimet trophy was suspended from a crane.
Some supporters were even spotted on top of horses waving the nation’s flag, while the replica of the World Cup trophy was displayed in front of them.
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