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Lionel Messi’s Argentina returns to Buenos Aires after winning the FIFA World Cup in Qatar


The Argentine players have returned to Buenos Aires© AFP

The plane carrying World Cup winners Argentina and their captain Lionel Messi back from Qatar arrived at Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires at 2:40 a.m. (0540 GMT) on Tuesday. After beating France in Sunday’s thrilling final, the players will spend the night at the Argentine Football Association (AFA) training complex near the airport, where thousands of fans are waiting to play welcome them. They will then begin a tour of downtown Buenos Aires from Tuesday noon with millions expected to hit the streets over the holiday.

Messi, who scored twice in the final, was the first player to step out of the plane, holding the World Cup trophy aloft, with coach Lionel Scaloni right behind him.

Striker Julian Alvarez, a discovery in Qatar with his four goals, was among the next players to appear, along with his replacement on the team, Lautaro Martinez, who was carrying the drums.

Messi’s image is decorated on the tail of the plane with the words: “one team, one country, one dream” on the side.

The players made their way from the plane along the red carpet to an open-top bus when the World Cup theme song “Muchachos” by ska band La Mosca played.

Soon, the bus left for the AFA complex.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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