(CNN) It was a night of breakthrough goals and historic achievements Lionel Messi And Cristiano Ronaldo continues to cement his place as two of the greatest players of all time.
In Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, Messi and his Argentinian teammate played on home ground for the first time since. world cup win just three months ago.
They were given a hero’s welcome by more than 80,000 adoring fans inside River Plate’s iconic Estadio Monumental for a night of celebrations that were expected to last into the morning.
The players were presented with the World Cup trophy after the 2-0 victory over Panama and paraded through the stadium after the 2-0 victory over Panama. Also presented was a shirt embroidered with his three gold stars representing his three World Cup victories.
All the players from the team that won the World Cup in Qatar were called up to the national team for two friendly matches against Panama and Curacao so they could enjoy their moments of glory.
By the time kickoff began, the match itself was just a footnote, with over four hours of stadium celebrations including DJs, bands, fireworks and 80,000 singing voices.
Thiago Armada scored first and it took Argentina 78 minutes to find a breakthrough, mostly against the Panamanian reserves.
Then came Messi’s moment of glory with a spectacular free-kick to win the game with a minute left. His 99th international goal and 800th professional goal.
At the closing ceremony, Messi said, “I’ve always dreamed of this moment to celebrate with you in my country, Argentina, and lift the greatest thing, the World Cup.
“We’ve been waiting so long to win again, so let’s keep doing what we’re doing and enjoy this. Let’s enjoy the third star.”
Cristiano Ronaldo breaks appearance record, scores more goals
The same night, Ronaldo won his 197th international cap for Portugal in the team’s Euro 2024 qualifying victory over Liechtenstein, breaking the men’s record for most appearances in international matches.
The previous record of 196 was held by Kuwaiti forward Bader Al-Mutawa.
João Cancelo and Bernardo Silva were also on the scoresheet, with Ronaldo scoring two goals, a penalty and a stunning free-kick, in a 4-0 victory to give Portugal’s campaign a perfect start.
The 38-year-old made his debut for Portugal in 2008 and now has 120 goals for his country.
Elsewhere in Euro 2024 qualifiers, Harry Kane scored a penalty to ward off the Qatari demons, becoming England’s all-time leading goalscorer with 54 goals.
Kane, who achieved a record by missing a penalty against France in the quarter-final to equalize with England, said breaking the record on the spot “means a lot”.
Wayne Rooney, who held the record for England’s top scorer since 2015, murmured: “Congratulations to Harry Kane for becoming England’s all-time leading scorer.
“I didn’t think it would take long, but it has gone by so fast. A great man, an incredible goalscorer and an English legend.”