Messi leaves hometown to return to PSG
Argentina great Lionel Messi

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AFP)— Argentina captain Lionel Messi finally left for Paris in a private jet late on Monday after an extended period celebrating last month's World Cup victory in his home town of Rosario.

Messi left with his wife Antonela Roccuzzo and sons Mateo, Thiago and Ciro at 10:00 pm (0100 GMT) according to local newspaper La Capital de Rosario.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner arrived in Rosario, around 310 kilometers north of Buenos Aires, two days after his two goals helped Argentina beat France in the World Cup final in Qatar on December 18.

The private jet is due to arrive in Paris at around 1400 GMT on Tuesday.

Last week, PSG coach Christophe Galtier had said he expected Messi, who spent Christmas and New Year in his family home, to return on "January 2 or 3."

The 35-year-old thus missed the Ligue 1 leaders' first two post-World Cup matches.

He should, however, be available for PSG's French Cup clash with Chateauroux on Friday, where he would link up once again with French teammate Kylian Mbappe, who finished on the losing side despite scoring a hat-trick in that World Cup final, which Argentina won on penalties following a 3-3 draw.

Many fans saw Messi off at the international airport in Rosario, where there was a large security presence keeping them away from the forward and his family.

December's victory was Argentina's third World Cup success and first since late icon Diego Maradona led them to glory in 1986.

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