AFA renamed the Ezeiza property with the name "Lionel Andres Messi"

The Argentine Football Association (AFA) renamed this Saturday its property in the Buenos Aires town of Ezeiza with the name of “Lionel Andrés Messi”, in homage to the captain of the national team, world champion in Qatar 2022. The decision materialized in an act held in the new housing complex under construction, attended by the members of the Executive Committee, the captains of the First Division clubs, players of different categories, leaders and former teammates of the star in the National Team. In the front row were Sergio “Chiquito” Romero, Javier Mascherano, Fernando Gago, Mariano Andújar and Marcos Rojo, world runner-ups in Brazil 2014 under the technical direction of Alejandro Sabella.

Messi, 35, discovered the founding stone helped by the president of the institution, Claudio “Chiqui” Tapia; by the DT of the selected one, Lionel Scaloni, and surrounded by all his current teammates. “Lionel Andrés Messi Ezeiza Sports Housing Complex, name instituted by the honorable Executive Committee of the AFA to the admirable symbol and prodigy of the Argentine National Team”, is the inscription on the plaque.

The 48-hectare property, located on the Teniente General Ricchieri highway, had been named “Julio Humberto Grondona” since October 2014 in honor of the historic leader who died months before.

“I am one of those who think that the tributes have to be done while alive. This is very special for me, because of what this property means. I want to thank you for this recognition,” Messi said in a brief speech to the audience.

“I have been coming to this property for almost 20 years and from the first day I entered I felt a very special energy. It is a sensational place. I have had very hard, very bad times with the National Team, but every time I entered here I felt happiness. It is very special that after so long it bears my name”, he reviewed.

Messi, Ballon d’Or in Qatar 2022, was U-20 world champion in the Netherlands in 2005, Olympic gold medal in the Beijing Games 2008, winner of the Copa América Brazil 2021, of the Finalissima 2022 and winner as captain in the last Copa del World.

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On a personal level, he holds the record for the National Team’s top scorer (99 goals) and also registers the highest number of appearances, with 173 official and friendly matches.

Tapia, who was in charge of introducing the ceremony in Ezeiza, highlighted the event as “a very special day for all of Argentine soccer, both in terms of buildings and management.” The president pondered that the captain of the selected team “in the face of adversity, always preferred to seek revenge” until he achieved the greatest achievement of his career, with the consecration on December 18 at the Lusail Stadium.

This tribute is the second to be paid to a symbol of Argentine soccer under Tapia’s management, after renaming the traditional Viamonte 1366 building as “Diego Armando Maradona”, one year after his death on November 25, 2020. The head of the AFA recalled that in 2017, in the midst of “the refounding of Argentine soccer” that he had to face, he found “a monster” like the building under construction within the property, which will be the future accommodation of the players.

“We already have everything purchased to start closing the internal part of the building. This new complex will have three hotel floors for the teams, a high-performance center with medicine, amenities, wet and dry recovery rooms, and an auditorium for 360 people.” , detailed about the project started in the Grondona administration.

After the act, in which the world champions exchanged greetings and photos with those present, the Argentina squad began the last training session of the week with a view to next Tuesday’s friendly against Curaçao, at the Estadio Unico “Madre de Ciudades” in Santiago del Estero.

The squad will have a day off on Sunday, and on Monday they will meet again for the last practice and a lightning trip to Paraguay, where Conmebol will pay tribute to them prior to the Copa Libertadores and South American draw gala. From the city of Luque, which houses the headquarters of the highest continental soccer entity, the Argentine delegation will travel to Santiago del Estero on a charter flight.

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