Lionel Messi lifting the World Cup in a thrilling finale episode against Kylian Mbappe’s France was a story written in heaven. La Pulga stamped his legacy in the hearts of every Argentine fan and every fan wearing his number on his back when he picked up the golden trophy in Qatar.
And after directing a fairytale for La Albiceleste in the Middle East, the 35-year-old returns to international duty once again when his side locks horns with Panama.
A heavily hostile El Monumental Stadium will witness their country play at home for the first time since the World Cup in Qatar and the 83,000 fans in the stadium will leave no stone unturned to make their presence felt by the visitors.
La Albiceleste has rarely faltered under Lionel Scaloni except for the opening group stage defeat against Saudi Arabia and they would look to continue their winning momentum against a side that's yet to defeat the World Champions.
Having participated in their first World Cup finals in Russia, Panama failed to earn a spot in Qatar as they bowed out of the CONCACAF Qualifiers finishing 5th in the table.
Although Panama would be currently focused on their encounter against Costa Rica, the friendly against the World Champions could serve as a great learning experience for their side.
Thomas Christensen’s selection of a rather younger side is proof of the former Leeds manager’s focus shifting to next week’s fixture.
Christensen has opted for an inexperienced outfit consisting of first-division players as he looks to build his first team for the crucial match against Costa Rica.
Argentina vs Panama confirmed line-ups
Argentina XI (4-3-3): Martinez; Molina, Otamendi, Romero, Tagliafico; De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Messi, Alvarez, Di Maria
Panama XI (4-3-3): Guerra; Anderson, Peralta, Farina, Galvan; Ramos, Gudino, Quintero; Cordoba, Stephens, Murillo
Argentina vs Panama LIVE updates
Argentina's next fixtures
Lionel Scaloni's men face Curacao in another International friendly on the 28th of March at the El Monumental.