Lionel Messi was forever immortalised when Argentina Football Association (AFA) president Chiqui Tapia announced on Saturday that the Argentina training camp will be named after the superstar.
The centre which was named Casa de Ezeiza, would be known as “Lionel Andres Messi” from March 25 onwards, Tapia had tweeted.
“Thank you all very much for being here. I am grateful to ‘Chiqui’ for this recognition, it is very important to me. I have been coming to this property for 20 years and since I entered I felt a very special energy. Until today, every Every time I enter, I feel a very particular energy in this property. I have had hard times, but even in those moments, entering here meant forgetting everything, it was arriving and feeling happiness for being in this place, the same thing I still feel,” Messi said.
#Institucional El Complejo Habitacional de Ezeiza lleva el nombre del eterno Lionel Andrés Messi.
✔ Jornada histórica con la presencia de Claudio Tapia, autoridades de la casa y figuras de nuestro fútbol.
📝 https://t.co/PxM2l7uC43 pic.twitter.com/EJYDirvzCa
— AFA (@afa) March 25, 2023
“I feel very happy that after so long this is going to bear my name. I am one of the people who think that tributes have to be done while alive, and I think this is a very special recognition for all that this property means, for the amount of players who pass by. Passing by here and knowing that it will bear my name is something very nice,” he added.
Earlier in the week, Messi mania gripped Buenos Aires as the Argentina national team led by Messi beat Panama 2-0 on Thursday in a friendly match that was essentially a celebration of their World Cup victory last December.
The unveiling of the Lionel Messi plaque.pic.twitter.com/RZDO7J2YJC
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) March 25, 2023
Although the world champions dominated the game, they didn’t get a goal until the 78th minute when Thiago Almada scored after a free kick by Messi hit the goal post.
Ten minutes later, it was Messi’s turn and he scored the 800th goal of his professional career with a perfectly executed free kick. He is now one short of the 100-goal mark for the national squad.