A steakhouse Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo was mobbed by hundreds of frenzied football fans.
On Monday night when word spread that Lionel Messi was inside having dinner, people rushed to the exclusive Don Julio restaurant eager to get a glimpse of the man who led Argentina to its third World Cup title.
Messi eventually needed a police escort to leave.
Fans on the street corner chanted “Messi, Messi” and sang the words to “Muchachos,” which became the unofficial anthem for the Argentina squad that beat France in a thrilling final in Qatar.
The scene witnessed in the neighborhood of Argentina’s capital known for its bars and restaurants illustrates how Messi has now become like the late Diego Maradona, who led Argentina to its second World Cup trophy in 1986, and he can no longer walk through Argentina’s streets without being mobbed.