Lionel Messi Given Hero’s Welcome In Barcelona As He Arrives In Familiar Surroundings With Argentina Squad For World Cup Training Camp

Messi and Co will prepare for their final pre-World Cup friendly against Israel

Lionel Messi was given a hero’s welcome in familiar surroundings as he arrived in Barcelona with his Argentina team-mates.

A crowd gathered to catch a glimpse of Messi and Co as their coach departed El Prat airport in the Catalan city.

Supporters held up their phones and waved to the players on the bus and Messi was pictured gazing out of the window.

The team bus was surrounded by supporters who tried to catch a glimpse of their heroes

Messi has played down expectations ahead of the tournament in Russia 

The five-time Balon d’Or winner also shared a picture on his Instagram with the caption: ‘We are already home.’

Jorge Sampaoli’s side will remain in Barcelona until June 8 as they put the finishing touches to their World Cup preparations.

On Tuesday night Argentina swept aside Haiti in a friendly, with Messi scoring a hat-trick.

But he was swift to play down expectations ahead of Russia, saying: ‘The World Cup is the dream of us, of the country.

‘We are not candidates but we are very good, training and improving day by day.

‘We have good players and we are getting stronger to fight as an equal with anyone.’

Argentina will have a final friendly against Israel on June 9 before flying out to Bronnitsy Training Centre in Moscow, which will be their base.

Their campaign will begin on June 16 against Iceland before they meet Croation on June 21 and Nigeria on June 26.

A massive weight is on Messi and the Argentina team with an expectant public back home with the team lasting winning the World Cup back  in 1986.

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