HUNDREDS of Argentina fans gathered outside the home of Lionel Messi’s grandmother ahead of the World Cup final.
Messi has been key on Argentina’s road to the final and won the player of the match award in the 3-0 semi-final win over Croatia.
Fans sang about Lionel Messi outside his grandmother’s Rosario home
GettyMessi has been key to Argentina reaching the final[/caption]
He has scored five goals and produced three assists and is universally loved in Argentina, particularly in his hometown Rosario.
His grandmother still lives in the city and she was serenaded with songs about Messi just days before the final.
Passionate supporters jumped up and down, blew whistles and some even climbed up on the shoulders of fellow fans.
He is idolised in Rosario and even has a giant 100ft mural painted on a building in the city.
Messi, 35, left his hometown aged 13 to pursue a career with Barcelona but his connection runs deep.
He played for the city’s main club Newell’s Old Boys from the age of six and scored more than 500 goals for the club.
The club even paid Messi’s medical bills when he was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency.
Opening up on the ordeal, the PSG star said: “I injected my legs once every night. I started at 12 years old. It was not something that left an impression on me.
“At first my parents gave me the injections from when I was eight years old until I learnt. It was a small needle.
“It did not hurt, it was something routine for me that I had to do and I did it normally.”
Messi also met wife Antonela in Rosario, having known her since the age of five due to her being a cousin of a close friend, Lucas Scaglia.