Messi pictured in bed with World Cup trophy after triumphant return to Argentina

As thousands of fans give team heroes' welcome in Buenos Aires, PSG star's teammates hail him as greatest player in history

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Lionel Messi has posted pictures of himself in bed with the World Cup trophy after he and his teammates returned to Argentina to a heroes' welcome.

Argentina captain Messi shared the images of himself in bed with the cup at the AFA complex on Instagram on Tuesday morning, accompanied by the words: "Good morning!"

More than 100,000 celebrating Argentine fans took to the streets of Buenos Aires to greet their all-conquering team on their return from Qatar.

The Argentine capital has been in full party mode since their side's penalty shoot-out victory over France at Lusail Stadium on Sunday. It was the third time Argentina have won the World Cup and the first win since Diego Maradona led them to victory in Mexico in 1986.

Argentina beat defending champions France 4-2 on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw.

Jubilant Argentine fans headed into the centre of Buenos Aires in the early hours of Tuesday as the plane carrying Messi and his teammates touched down at Ezeiza airport.

They sang, beat drums. waved flags and lit fireworks as the team, wearing their gold winners' medals around their necks went on an open-top bus parade through the streets of the capital.

Meanwhile, two of Messi's teammates have hailed the Argentina captain as the best player in history after he led the side to victory.

The Paris Saint-German forward, 35, scored twice in a frantic final against France at Lusail Stadium to the north of Doha, with the match finishing 2-2 in normal time – Argentina had been 2-0 up, with Messi scoring the opener – and then 3-3 in extra-time. Messi scored his side’s third, in the 108th minute before Kylian Mbappe completed a hat-trick to send the contest to penalties.

In the shoot-out, Messi rolled home the first spot-kick to lay the platform for Argentina to triumph 4-2. Having played a key role in his country winning a third World Cup and first in 36 years, Messi was named the player of the tournament.

He concluded his campaign with six goals – only Mbappe, with eight, scored more – and three assists.

Asked on Sunday what made the difference in the most dramatic of matches, Argentina midfielder Alexis Mac Allister told UK broadcaster ITV Sport: “It is always Messi, it is always Messi. He is fantastic.

“I think he is the best player in the world, the best player of all time. He is amazing, he is a really nice guy, he is humble, so he has everything to be the best player in history.

“It is amazing to share a dressing room with him and I’m very grateful.”

Teammate Rodrigo De Paul, who has been nicknamed on social media as Messi’s bodyguard, told Spanish platform Gol Mundial: “Lionel Messi is the best in history. There’s no doubt about it.

“He showed it throughout the game; he showed it throughout the tournament. He was the best ever. He showed it even at 35. The best captain I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Argentina v France ratings

Updated: December 20, 2022, 3:03 PM